What Are Automobiles?

Automobiles are vehicles that travel on land and carry a driver and sometimes passengers. They have four wheels and use an internal combustion engine to make them move, which is also known as a motor. They use gasoline (petrol in American English) or another fuel to power the motor. Most automobiles have brakes to stop them when needed and a gearbox to change the speed at which they go. Some have electric motors that convert the energy from braking into electricity, which can then be used to move the car.

The word “automobile” comes from the Greek prefix auto- (“self”) and Latin movis (“moving”). Early cars were powered by steam engines, but when gaspowered automobiles came onto the market in the late 19th century they made more significant changes to society. The invention of the assembly line in automobile manufacturing allowed mass production and the affordability of cars, which gave people more personal freedom to move around and access jobs and services. This was especially true for women, who often were not able to travel as freely as men in the past.

Various types of automobiles have been designed for specific purposes, such as emergency vehicles like fire engines and ambulances. There are also sport automobiles, which are designed to be fast, such as race cars. These are built to a different standard and often have more powerful engines than the everyday cars. Some are built with light, strong materials such as aluminum and titanium, which are less bulky than steel. There are also specialized automobiles for transporting cargo, such as timber carriers and cement trucks. Specialized passenger cars are usually called limousines, minivans, vans or SUVs. Vehicles that are devoted to carrying cargo are called lorries, trucks or buses.

While automobiles have many benefits, they also create a lot of pollution, which has many harmful effects on the environment. They are a major source of air pollution, which can damage human health. They are also a big source of water pollution, because they deposit toxins into the environment and into bodies of water. When these toxic substances are deposited into the water they can affect human and animal life, and may even kill them.

In the 1910s and 1920s there was a push for women to have voting rights, and automobiles helped them achieve this. Women drove around with “votes for women” banners, and gave speeches from their cars. This was a huge change for women, who were not always given the right to vote in America, or the money to own a car.