An automobile, also known as a motor car or car, is a wheeled, self-propelled road vehicle that is designed to transport people and cargo. Automobiles are mainly powered by gasoline, although they may also be driven by other fuels, including electricity, hydrogen, natural gas, or alternative energy sources such as biomass. Most automobiles have four wheels and can seat one to eight people. They are the dominant form of personal transportation in most modern industrialized countries and travel more than three trillion miles (five trillion kilometres) per year.

The invention of the automobile ushered in a new age of mobility and transformed modern life. People gained a freedom that had not been possible before, and they were able to visit distant places. They could get to work faster than ever before and did not have to depend on trains or buses to arrive at their destinations. They could choose their own schedules, and they could travel at their own leisure.

Having a car allowed for more leisure activities such as shopping, restaurants and recreation. These changes benefited society, but they also caused harm. Exhaust from cars polluted the air, and they required large amounts of land to be used for roads and parking lots. This caused environmental problems, and government regulations were enacted to protect the environment and the safety of motorists.

Car manufacturers responded with new designs and features, such as safety features and power trains. These innovations helped to keep the price of automobiles down so that they could be affordable for middle-class families. The development of assembly lines by American automobile manufacturer Henry Ford greatly accelerated production, which reduced the cost of his Model T to a level that was affordable for most Americans.

In the 1910s and 1920s, women took advantage of their ability to drive automobiles to gain independence from men and to go to jobs that had been traditionally male roles. They also used the automobile to promote political change, such as voting rights for women. They drove around with “votes for women” banners and even gave speeches from their automobiles.

The future of the automobile seems to be in hybrid, electrical or autonomous vehicles, as our society shifts away from the internal combustion engine. However, it is still too early to tell how far this change will go.

Automobiles are the dominant mode of transportation worldwide, with an estimated 1.4 billion in operation today. In recent years, Americans have been offered hundreds of models, which means there are plenty of options to choose from. Regardless of the type of car you choose, it is important to maintain it properly to maximize its lifespan and performance. This maintenance includes regular oil changes and replacing tires as needed. It is also wise to regularly clean and vacuum your interior to ensure a healthy and safe driving experience. If you have any questions or concerns, contact an experienced auto mechanic for expert advice. He or she will be happy to assist you.