Automobiles are motor vehicles that are used for transportation on roads and can carry passengers and cargo. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes to serve different purposes such as commercial use, racing or off road driving.
The development of automobiles dates back to the late 1800s when German inventor Carl Benz designed his first prototype. Until then horses were the main mode of land transportation. The invention of the automobile made it possible to travel long distances in relative comfort and without having to wait for a train or a bus to arrive. The car also opened up new opportunities for employment and leisure activities and brought about a number of changes in society including the rise of fast food restaurants, motels and hotels. It also created a demand for more highways and related infrastructure.
Several types of automobiles were tried in the 1900s including steam, electric and gasoline powered cars. Steam cars could go at high speeds but they had to be constantly fueled with water and had limited range. Electric cars were more convenient to operate but they did not reach very high speeds and their batteries had to be recharged regularly. Gasoline-powered cars, which used standard gasoline, became the most popular choice of automobiles.
Automobiles make it easy to get around, even in large cities or rural areas where the layout of streets makes walking or cycling difficult. They allow people to live farther away from their workplace and they are especially helpful for working families with children who may need to be dropped off at school or daycare before heading to the office. Having a car can also help people save money on taxis or other forms of public transportation, which is particularly useful when it comes to budgeting for monthly expenses. Purchasing a vehicle can also affect other payments such as mortgages by showing that a person can afford to make regular installments.
For many Americans, it is impossible to imagine a modern life without a car. Most of us drive more than 4.8 trillion kilometers (three trillion miles) every year on average and the vast majority of these trips are to work, school or other everyday places. Some areas, such as suburban and rural communities, are not within reasonable walking distance of stores or other services so having a vehicle is essential for those who live there. Special automobiles, like fire engines and ambulances, are also available to help those who need emergency assistance. Moreover, some people use their cars to transport goods and cargo such as construction materials or produce. There are even specialized automobiles for recreational uses such as snowmobiles and off-road vehicles. The automobile has become the most important means of transportation in the world and it will continue to evolve as technology advances. Changing trends such as environmental concerns, increasing fuel efficiency and a growing desire for self-driving cars are all expected to impact the future of automobiles.