An automobile is a wheeled vehicle designed primarily for passenger transportation and powered by an internal combustion engine with a volatile fuel. The modern automobile is a complex technical system involving thousands of subsystems that have specific design functions. Some of these subsystems result from breakthroughs in existing technology; others are new technologies such as electronic computers, high-strength plastics and alloys of steel and nonferrous metals.

The automobile has dramatically changed American society since it was first invented in the early 1900s. Prior to the automobile, people traveled by horse and buggy or on foot. The invention of the automobile meant that people from urban areas could visit rural areas, and those living in the countryside could travel to cities for work or vacation. People also became more mobile in their leisure time, and could visit family and friends who lived far away from them.

Automobiles are available in many different shapes and sizes, and are used for many different purposes. There are passenger cars (sedans, coupes and convertibles), commercial vehicles (trucks, vans and busses), four-wheel drive “off road” vehicles and special automobiles (fire, police, sanitary, refrigerator, infantry fighting vehicles, etc.).

Automobile manufacturing is a huge industry. It has a significant impact on the economy in many ways and it is one of the most popular industries in the world. It is an important part of the global industrial infrastructure and it contributes to national development. It has also created a wide range of jobs worldwide, including in manufacturing, design and research. The industry is highly competitive and dominated by the three largest car companies, Ford, General Motors and Chrysler.

The development of the modern automobile was influenced by advances in engineering, design and technology as well as social and economic factors. It was first developed in Germany and France toward the end of the nineteenth century, but the American automobile industry quickly dominated in the first decades of the twentieth century. Henry Ford innovated mass production techniques that were adopted by other manufacturers, and the big three emerged as the dominant players in the American market.

Today, the automobile is a vital part of the global economy and its future depends on advances in technology and engineering as well as changes in social and political attitudes. It is a highly regulated industry, with strict emission standards and safety regulations. It is also a major source of employment and is a valuable source of foreign exchange. Its influence extends to all aspects of life, from the way that we live our daily lives to the way that we communicate with each other. It is the most common form of transportation in the world, and its popularity continues to grow around the globe. A lot of people have their own cars and use them for many reasons, from going to work to taking a day out to see friends. Cars can save you a lot of time and make it easier to keep appointments, get to school or go shopping. They are also more convenient than using public transport or taking a taxi and they are usually faster than walking or riding a bicycle.