Automobiles are a common form of transportation for many people. They are more convenient than walking or riding a bicycle for long distances. They can hold multiple passengers and can carry luggage too. They are faster than buses and trains and can go places that other wheeled transport cannot. However, they can be expensive and burn fuel too. Some people are worried that automobiles cause pollution and use up the world’s oil resources too quickly.

The modern automobile uses an internal combustion engine, which is similar to the engine in a steam locomotive or the rocket in a spaceship. The fuel, such as gasoline or diesel, is combusted, or burned, inside the engine, which then turns the wheels of the car. The fuel can also be used to produce electricity, which powers the electric motor. The power from the engine is sent to the wheels through a transmission system. The transmission system can be shifted to change gears, which makes the car go slower or faster.

Before the modern automobile came along, vehicles such as carriages and wagons were used for transporting people and goods. These vehicles were pulled by horses or other animals. Later, people started to build larger and more powerful engines to propel these vehicles over long distances. The first modern automobile was invented by German inventor Karl Benz. He received a patent for his motorwagen in 1885 and began production the following year. His company, Benz & Cie, became the largest car company in Europe during the late 1800s.

The automobile industry is one of the largest industries in the world. Its growth is partly due to the increased demand for cars in developing countries. Automobiles are made by many different companies, most of which are located in the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Korea, India and China. The companies that make automobiles can be divided into several categories: passenger, commercial (trucks and busses), cargo and special (fire, sanitary, mobile crane, autoclave, refrigerator, infantry fighting vehicles).

In the early 1900s, Henry Ford revolutionized the automotive industry with his Model T. He was able to sell the automobile to ordinary Americans, not just the rich, because he used the assembly line. This allowed him to make more cars quickly and at a lower cost than his competitors could.

Some companies, such as Toyota, Honda and Nissan, began as manufacturers of other products before they switched to producing automobiles. Several other companies, such as Isuzu and Mitsubishi, started by building vehicles based on designs from European automobile makers. Many companies, such as Daihatsu and Suzuki, started by selling small three-wheeled trucks for business use. These trucks are still in production today. The truck market is the biggest in the world and the largest segment of the automobile industry.