Automobiles are vehicles that use a combustion engine and have four wheels to transport people and things. They are the most common form of personal transportation in the world and they can be powered by gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene or electricity. They have a chassis, an engine, brakes, wheels, axles and control systems. Most modern automobiles are gas or diesel powered but electric cars are becoming more popular.

The automobile has been developed for over 100 years and it has become an important part of society. Many families rely on their car for daily transportation. There are more than 559 million cars in operation around the world and most of them run on gasoline or diesel. Some of the major manufacturers of automobiles are Ford, Toyota, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, and Nissan.

Some of the earliest automobiles were steam or electric powered and they were developed in the late 1700s and early 1800s. These vehicles were slow and heavy. By the 1900s Karl Benz had invented a type of internal combustion engine that allowed cars to be much faster and lighter than horses.

After the two World Wars car makers began adding new features to their models. Safety features such as seat belts were added and the engines were made more powerful. There were also many large cars made that consumed a lot of gasoline which was cheap at the time.

Today all automobiles are equipped with brakes that work by friction to stop the vehicle. Some are also equipped with regenerative brakes that convert the energy of movement into electricity.