An automobile, or motor car, is a wheeled passenger vehicle that has its own propulsion system. It is usually designed primarily for transporting people and often has four wheels, but it can also have two or three. It is powered by an internal combustion engine, and it is usually fueled by gasoline (petrol), but other fuels such as natural gas, electricity, and diesel oil may be used. The development of the automobile, which was originally called a motor carriage or a motor car, has resulted in a significant increase in personal mobility. It has allowed people to live and work away from home, travel for business or pleasure, and shop without having to depend on others. It has also helped develop new industries, such as highway construction and automobile manufacturing. It has also brought problems, such as pollution from exhaust and destruction of undeveloped land for roads and parking lots.
Automobiles are an important part of the world’s economy. More than 73 million new cars were sold worldwide in 2017. Almost all of the major automakers have research and development programs that focus on improving the performance, safety, and fuel efficiency of their vehicles. They are also working on alternative fuel sources and autonomous driving systems. The development of these technologies will affect future automobiles, which could be lighter, faster, and more environmentally friendly than the current generation of vehicles.
The first successful automobiles were made in the late 1860s and early 1870s. Siegfried Marcus of Austria developed a two-stroke internal combustion engine that burned gasoline in 1870, and Karl Benz of Germany built a three-wheeled prototype that had a more reliable four-stroke petrol engine. In Britain, Thomas Rickett of Malvern and Frederick William Lanchester of London developed steam-powered vehicles in the 1860s but these were only one-offs.
Various developments were made to make automobiles safer, more comfortable, and easier to operate. For example, a steering column was added and a lever to release the brakes was created. Other innovations included the introduction of air conditioning and power windows, as well as seats with adjustable headrests.
In the United States, the first practical automobile was patented by George Selden in 1879. Henry Ford was sued by Selden for violating the patent and lost the case. Ford then began production of his Model T, which was mass-produced and marketed as a cheap, practical automobile.
As of 2017, the Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon, and Ford Expedition are our top picks for mid-size SUVs with all-terrain capability. However, the Kia Telluride is an intriguing option that offers luxury amenities for a reasonable price and a more polished ride than most of its competition. If you have a large family and want the space of an SUV with car-like handling, consider this SUV. Its off-road capability will keep you on the trails and its fuel economy is impressive for an SUV. You will have to pay a little more, but this SUV is worth the extra cost.