Automobiles are four-wheeled vehicles used for transportation. Most automobiles use an internal combustion engine fueled by a volatile fuel such as gasoline (petrol) to drive the wheels. The scientific and technical building blocks for the modern automobile go back several hundred years, beginning with a gunpowder-powered internal combustion engine invented by Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens in the late 1600s.
Karl Benz, a German engineer, is widely credited with inventing the modern automobile when he built his Patent-Motorwagen in 1885. Benz’s invention was revolutionary because it made automobiles more affordable to middle-class families. He used a two-stroke internal combustion engine and gasoline as the fuel. Benz’s car was not fast and had only limited range, but it allowed people to travel long distances with little effort.
After Benz, other engineers and businessmen came up with their own ideas for automobiles. The automobile changed society in many ways. It enabled people to live in cities and travel to the countryside for recreation and work. It created industries to make and supply automobile parts, like rubber and then plastics. It also gave rise to services like gas stations and convenience stores. It also gave people more personal freedom and mobility, allowing them to visit friends and family across the country.
A disadvantage of automobiles is the environmental impact, including greenhouse gases. The production of gasoline for cars produces air pollution, which is a contributing factor to global warming. In addition, automobiles can be dangerous, especially when driven by human beings who sometimes make mistakes. In addition, the high centre of gravity of some vehicles makes them more susceptible to rollover accidents.