Automobiles are vehicles that have been designed for use in transporting passengers or goods. They are self-propelled (they move without the aid of an operator) and typically use a petrol or diesel engine to power their operation.
They have a number of advantages over alternative modes of transportation, such as walking or cycling. They save time, allow people to travel long distances quickly and can often reach places that public transportation cannot.
The automobile is a complex technical system comprised of many sub-systems and functions. The major subsystems include the body, chassis, engine, drivetrain, control systems and emission control systems.
A car can be powered by a variety of fuels, such as gasoline, diesel or CNG (CNG stands for compressed natural gas). These fuels are usually pressed or liquefied from the liquid in the engine to produce electricity and to transmit it to the wheels.
In some cases, the car may be driven by an electric motor. This is called an electric automobile or a hybrid vehicle.
The electric motor can be a brushless, belt-driven motor or a permanent magnet motor. The primary difference is that the brushes of a brushless motor are made from a thin metal sheet which can be replaced, whereas a permanent magnet motor uses magnetic fields to rotate the metal.
An automobile also has a clutch, which is a device that disengages the driving shaft from the driven shaft when speed of the driving shaft is greater than the speed of the driven shaft. This clutch helps to control the amount of torque that the engine can send to the wheels by allowing the driver to increase or decrease the speed.
There are also a range of gears in the drivetrain, that help to adjust the speed and torque of the engine. These gears are made from a variety of materials such as metals, plastics and ceramics.
The clutch is an important component of any car. It prevents the driver from slipping out of the vehicle by disengaging the wheel or wheel shaft when the driver is not driving the vehicle, for example while taking a break.
One of the most significant innovations in the history of the automobile was the invention of the first internal combustion engine, which could be used to power cars. This occurred in the late 1860s when Siegfried Marcus, a German working in Vienna, Austria, created a two-stroke gas engine.
He built the first successful gasoline-powered car in 1886. This was a Benz Patent-Motorwagen and it included seats, brakes and steering.
This was the beginning of the automobile revolution in Europe and America. Americans dominated the industry in the first half of the 20th century; but European and Asian production grew rapidly to meet growing demand in the aftermath of World War II.
A vehicle’s design must take into account a host of factors, including fuel economy, safety and durability. The engine must have a good power-to-weight ratio and the wheels must be properly balanced. In addition, the chassis must be stable and the tires must have good traction. These factors all affect the performance of a car, and they must be improved continuously by research and development.