Automobiles are a vehicle that is used for transporting people and goods. They are usually large and have four wheels.

They are a popular alternative to public transportation and can help you save time. They are also very safe and convenient to drive.

In the United States, automobiles are an important part of the transportation system. They are the most common form of personal vehicle and account for one-quarter of all vehicles on the road, with 590 million passenger cars in operation worldwide (roughly one car for every eleven people).

A modern automobile is a complex technical system. It consists of thousands of component parts that are arranged into subsystems with specific design functions.

The most basic of these subsystems are the engine, transmission, steering, and brakes. In addition, many other systems are also employed to control and monitor the various parts of the vehicle.

Most modern vehicles use a water-cooled, piston-type internal-combustion engine mounted in the front of the vehicle; it is typically powered by gasoline or diesel fuel and may be transmitted to the front or rear wheels, or all four. Some models employ air-cooled engines, which have less efficiency than the liquid-cooled type but are cheaper to build.

The first modern automobile was designed and produced in Germany by Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach in 1890, and it was fitted with a four-stroke gasoline engine of their own design. Other innovations include the use of steam power and battery-powered electric vehicles.