Automobiles are vehicles used for transportation. They typically have four wheels, an engine that provides power to move the vehicle over land, and a cabin for passengers. Most modern automobiles use internal combustion engines to generate power, although some have electric or hybrid engines that combine gas and electricity.
Automobiles have had a major impact on society, making many social and business activities impossible without them. They connect urban areas and rural areas in a way that has never before been possible. They allow people to travel long distances with relative ease, providing new opportunities for work, shopping, and recreation. They have helped to shape urban design and government services such as police, fire, ambulance, and highways. They have created new businesses like hotels, restaurants, and amusement parks. They have also created new laws and requirements for driving and safety features.
The modern automobile was developed in the late 1800s. It grew in popularity as it became less expensive to purchase and operate than previous models. Cheap raw materials and a strong tradition of mass production allowed automobile manufacturers to sell their products over a large geographic area at competitive prices. This widespread demand for automobiles encouraged the development of new industries and services to support the car’s growing needs, such as steel, gasoline, petroleum, rubber, and plastic.
In the 1920s, the automobile became a central force in American life, and its influence has continued to grow. It has become an integral part of a society that values individual freedom of movement and action. However, the American preference for personal mobility has come with a price that may be hard to overcome: pollution of the environment; congestion of the cities and suburbs; increased cost for housing, utilities, and food; and changes in the structure of families.