Automobiles, or automobiles, are vehicles used for passenger transportation on land. Typically, they are gasoline-fueled and carry a limited amount of cargo.
The automobile is one of the most common modern technologies in the world. Its development dates back to several hundred years. Some of its scientific building blocks include the internal combustion engine, steering system, muffler, suspension, ignition, and fuel injection.
An internal combustion engine, or ICE, was developed in the late 1600s by Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens. This engine could be started by shooting gunpowder at a flame, which would ignite. By 1885, a three-wheeled car was built by Karl Benz, and the Daimler Reitwagen was designed by Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach.
In the mid-1890s, horseless buggy automobiles were manufactured in the United States. Gasoline-powered cars overtook the streets of Europe by 1920.
Today, the majority of automobiles are driven by a water-cooled piston-type internal combustion engine. Some cars also have air-cooled engines.
Modern automobiles are designed to be capable of carrying a large number of passengers. They are usually designed to be four-wheeled, but some are based on an air-cooled engine with rear wheels.
One of the earliest innovations was a heavy cage surrounding occupants. Another was the development of seat belts. These were not effective until they were regulated in the United States.
Cars also have a friction brake at each wheel, which slows the moving surface. The use of a friction brake can help prevent accidents, as it applies a controlled force to the moving surface.