Automobiles are cars, buses, trucks/lorries and other vehicles that are powered by an engine and can move around on four wheels. The word automobile derives from the Latin words auto (self) and mobile (self-moving). The first modern automobiles were invented in the late 1880s and early 1900s. They were powered by steam or by internal combustion engines. The first gasoline-powered cars came on the market in the early 1920s. Today, most people in the world use an automobile for transportation. There are many different types of automobiles, from sleek sports cars to roomy family vans. There are also electric and hybrid cars. Some automobiles are designed for off-road driving while others are designed to be driven on city streets.

Automobiles have made our lives a lot easier. They let us travel to work or school quickly, and they make it easy for us to get groceries and run errands. Some people even use their cars for leisure activities, such as going to the beach or visiting relatives. Without the automobile, life would be much more difficult.

The automobile was first perfected in Germany and France toward the end of the 19 th century by such men as Gottlieb Daimler, Karl Benz, and Nicolaus Otto. But it was an American, Ransom E Olds, who introduced the large-scale production of affordable automobiles in 1902. His one-cylinder, three-horsepower, tiller-steered Oldsmobile was essentially a motorized horse buggy, but its price put it within reach of middle-class Americans. Other American innovations in the automotive industry include electric ignition and self-starters, independent suspension, and four-wheel brakes.

In the United States, cheap raw materials and a tradition of industrial manufacturing encouraged the mechanization of manufacturing processes. By the 1910s, hundreds of small companies produced automobiles in the United States. The nation’s vast land area and its lack of restrictive tariff barriers encouraged great demand for automobiles.

Automobile manufacturers are constantly striving to produce vehicles that are economical, durable, and comfortable. They use a combination of breakthroughs in engineering and innovative design to achieve this goal. The modern car is a complex technical system with thousands of individual parts, each with specific design functions. Some of these are driven by advances in the science of computer-aided design, while others come from breakthroughs in material technology such as high-strength plastics and new alloys of steel and nonferrous metals.

In America, the automobile has become an integral part of our culture. From the Model T Fords that rolled off of the assembly line in the early 1900s to the artful mid-century modern designs that cruised U.S. highways and byways in the 1950s, cars have shaped our social life and our economic development. In 1916, two women — Nell Richardson and Alice Burke — set out on a cross-country drive to advocate for women’s rights by decorating their car with “votes for women” banners. The car has become a symbol of freedom from dependence on others for transport and a means to achieve personal success.