Automobiles (also known as cars) are motor vehicles that use their own wheels to run. Most definitions specify that automobiles are designed to run primarily on roads, have seating for one to seven people, and are constructed principally for the transport of passengers rather than cargo.
The automobile industry is one of the largest industries in the world, producing 73 million new vehicles in 2017. Automobiles are usually powered by internal combustion engines, which are fueled by gasoline (petrol), which itself is a petroleum product. Other fuels for automobiles include diesel, which is often derived from coal or biomass, and electric power.
There are many different types of automobiles, and they can be divided into passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, and special purpose vehicles. Passenger vehicles can be further classified by the type of seats they have, and whether they have air conditioning. Commercial vehicles include trucks, tempos, containers, and busses. Special purpose vehicles include ambulances, fire engines, and police cars.
In the late 1800s, inventors began to experiment with gas-powered engines. They created a variety of automobiles, some of which were three-wheeled, and some of which had a single axle. Others were powered by steam, electricity, or even whale oil. Several of these innovations proved to be impractical, and some were dangerous.
Gottlieb Daimler built the first complete modern automobile in 1901. It used a four-stroke engine and weighed less than fifty pounds per horsepower. The automobile revolutionized transportation in the 20th century and today it is difficult to imagine a life without an access to a car.
There have been a number of significant improvements to automobiles over the years, from improved safety to more efficient designs. Most of these advances have been made possible by a steady stream of technological innovations, some of which are mandated by the government in the form of laws or safety standards. In addition to these laws, there is ongoing research to improve vehicle performance, especially with the aim of reducing fuel consumption and emissions.
A vehicle’s suspension system helps it to ride over uneven and bumpy roads. There are two main types of suspension systems: independent and non-independent. An independent suspension system is a system whereby each wheel can adjust its position independently of the other wheels, meaning that it can absorb the impact of a bump without affecting the other wheels. Examples of this type of suspension are Mac person struts and wishbones.
An automobile’s engine can be located in the front, mid-ship, or rear of the vehicle. The location of the engine determines the weight distribution, and can influence a vehicle’s handling and acceleration. In a front engine design, the engine is mounted over or ahead of the front axle, while mid-engine vehicles have their engines located in the middle of the vehicle. Rear-engined vehicles have their engines located beyond the rear axle, and are more likely to have balanced weight distribution. An important automotive component is a transmission system, which connects the engine to the wheels. There are many different types of transmissions, but they all do the same basic job: to convert engine power into wheel power.