Automobiles, also known as cars, are motor vehicles designed for transporting people on land. They have four wheels and are powered most often by gasoline (a liquid fuel). Most automobiles have an internal combustion engine and a transmission system to convert mechanical energy into movement and speed. The transmission system also has a series of gears that can make the car go faster or slower.

While the automobile was a major invention, it has had many drawbacks. Traffic congestion and air pollution are among the most serious. It has also become a major cause of global warming. Today, many younger people are choosing not to purchase a vehicle and instead are walking, taking public transit if available or carpooling with friends when necessary.


The automobile made it possible to travel long distances, quickly and easily. As a result, families could explore new destinations and rediscover pristine landscapes. Teenagers found that driving freedom increased their independence, and couples discovered a portable place for romance.