Automobiles are vehicles that are designed for use on public roads, and have four wheels. They are powered by an internal combustion engine, and most often run on gasoline (petrol), a liquid fuel. Some automobiles are hybrids, using a combination of electrical and mechanical energy to move.

The development of the automobile has had a profound impact on society and economy. It has increased people’s mobility and freedom to travel, and allowed for greater economic growth by allowing companies to transport goods more easily and rapidly. In addition, it has helped connect towns and cities in ways that were never before possible. It has also given women a greater role in society as it allows them to drive without having to depend on men to get them around.

Most modern automobiles are equipped with safety features, such as seat belts and airbags, which reduce the number of deaths caused by traffic accidents. These technologies are becoming more advanced, with automakers constantly aiming to improve safety and comfort features. In addition, many countries have passed laws that require cars to be produced with environmentally friendly technology.

A car is a four-wheeled motor vehicle for carrying passengers, and is the most common type of automotive transportation in the world. The term is derived from the Greek words (“auto”) and (“mobilis”). The word auto was adapted to mean “self-propelled” and used as a synonym for car, while automobile was retained to describe motor vehicles specifically.

Almost every country in the world produces automobiles, with the largest producers being the European Union and Japan. Annually, about 59 million cars are produced worldwide. The most popular cars are passenger vehicles, with the most models being sedans and station wagons. Other types include hatchbacks, minivans and SUVs.

An automobile requires energy to turn the wheels, and this can come from chemical or electric power. Historically, the most popular source of energy has been gasoline, but other sources exist as well, including electricity and biodiesel. The speed at which an automobile can go depends on how much energy is available to turn the wheels, and this amount is usually measured in kilowatts or horsepower.

The design of an automobile depends on its intended purpose. Automobiles that are meant for off-road use must have robust systems that can cope with extreme operating conditions, while those designed for highway speeds need to be optimized for high-speed handling and stability.

There are many special automobiles that are designed for other purposes, such as fire engines, police cars and ambulances. These automobiles often have a unique body, such as steel section pillars or aluminum panelling, and are able to withstand the intense heat that they encounter.

The automobile is one of the most significant inventions of the 20th century. It has made modern life much more convenient, and is the main means of transportation for most people in most countries. It has influenced the way that societies operate and the way in which people live, and it continues to grow and evolve as new technological advances are discovered.