Automobiles are usually four-wheeled vehicles used primarily for passenger transportation, and commonly propelled by an internal combustion engine using a volatile fuel. Modern automobiles are complex technical systems consisting of many subsystems with specific design functions.

The automobile changed the world by giving people more freedom, creating new industries, and allowing women to drive. However, it has also created new problems such as air pollution and the draining of world oil supplies. In addition, some young people prefer walking, taking public transit if they have easy access to it or carpooling with friends instead of owning a car.

Having your own vehicle gives you the ability to travel wherever you want, whenever you want. This is especially important if you live in rural areas or have to commute long distances for work or school. It can also save you time by allowing you to skip traffic jams. However, having a vehicle can be expensive if you don’t maintain it properly.

The first car was invented in 1886 when German inventor Carl Benz patented his Benz Patent-Motorwagen. The modern automobile came into widespread use during the 1930s, after which market saturation and technological stagnation set in. With the onset of World War II, automakers focused their attention on producing cars for the war effort. By the 1960s, questions about the quality of American-made automobiles, nonfunctional styling and gas guzzling led to a decline in popularity for domestic models, opening the door to Japanese imports.