What Are Automobiles?

Automobiles are vehicles that use an engine to propel themselves from one place to another. They can be fueled by gasoline, electricity, or other types of fuel. They can also be driven by humans or robots. Automobiles are often designed to be stylish and attractive. They are also very practical for people who lead busy lives.

Various definitions have popped up over the years for what constitutes an automobile. But most experts agree that an automobile is a wheeled motor vehicle that runs primarily on roads, seats one to eight people, and is used mainly for transportation. There are exceptions, such as trucks that are designed for hauling cargo, but these vehicles still fit the general definition of automobiles.


When they first became affordable, automobiles enabled middle class Americans to live in suburban areas where they could have their own house with a green grass lawn and privacy from neighbors. They have also fueled a desire for Americans to travel and explore the world, especially to places that are far away from where they live.

Autos can get you to work or school on time, even if the traffic is bad. They allow you to avoid rush hour traffic by leaving earlier or later than everyone else, and they let you take alternate routes when there is construction or a serious accident on the usual route. Having your own car can save you a lot of stress, especially when your schedule is tight or you have a big deadline to meet.

Having a vehicle allows you to go shopping or visit your relatives with relative ease. You can also take your children to daycare and after-school activities without having to rely on other people to transport them. This is especially useful in busy cities and towns where public transportation is not readily available.


The automobile has been a major influence on the development of technology and society, especially in America. Karl Benz is credited with inventing the first gas powered automobile around 1885, but there were many other inventors and engineers who worked on cars before that. American businessman Henry Ford came along after Karl Benz and improved the manufacturing process to make cars affordable for middle class families. This led to the creation of new industries, jobs, and services like gas stations and convenience stores.

Today, there are countless different ways to design automobiles. Some are designed to be durable and simple in order to keep the costs down. Others are built to perform well in off road conditions, while still others are designed for high speed performance. Whatever the intended purpose, an automobile should have a comfortable ride, clear visibility from all directions through windows and mirrors, and safe handling. Some of the original controls are no longer necessary, such as a choke valve, clutch, and ignition timing, but new controls are needed to handle more sophisticated driving systems.