An automobile is a motor vehicle that transports passengers on land. Automobiles have become one of the most common forms of transportation in the world, with an estimated 1.4 billion vehicles operating worldwide in 2017.
A automobile is a self-propelled vehicle on four wheels that is usually driven by an internal combustion engine (ICE) fueled most often by gasoline. An automobile can be made to carry people or goods and can be used for both commercial and recreational purposes.
The history of the automobile dates back to several hundred years. In the early 1800s, steam-driven cars were being built; they could go at a high speed, but they had a short range and were difficult to start.
After 1900, car makers began to explore alternative fuel sources: electricity sparked by gunpowder and gasoline. Gasoline-powered cars were more reliable, but they had a lower range than electric cars.
Industrial production techniques revolutionized the car industry in the twentieth century, lowering prices to make them more affordable for most middle-class Americans. Henry Ford, for example, developed mass-production methods that lowered the price of his Model T by half to $290 in 1927.
Modern automobiles have many complex systems and controls, such as air conditioning, entertainment devices, navigation systems, and automatic transmission. Physical buttons and knobs have been replaced by touchscreen control systems. New technologies have also enabled manufacturers to improve the body, chassis, engine, drivetrain, control systems, safety systems, and emission-control systems of automobiles.