An automobile (sometimes referred to as a motor car) is a wheeled passenger vehicle with a motor, and is usually designed to run on roads. They typically have seating for one to seven people and are constructed principally for the transport of passengers rather than goods.

An important aspect of automobiles is the design of their body, which combines standards of safety, size and weight, aerodynamics or ways to reduce the friction of airflow and appearance. This involves the use of many different materials, including plastics and metals that can be shaped to suit various applications.

Some of the main systems in a car include the engine, transmission, fuel system, electrical system, cooling and lubrication system, and chassis. Each of these components interacts with and supports the others to produce a smooth, powerful, and safe drive.

Another major factor in the design of cars is how they will be used. Some will be used primarily for local driving and need to achieve good fuel economy; other vehicles will require more power to speed up or reach long distances.

The design of a car is often a compromise between these features, although the basic systems remain essentially the same in each form of vehicle. The car must be affordable to the average consumer, have the ability to carry several passengers, have a high level of safety, and satisfy emissions requirements.

In the United States, the most important manufacturers are Ford, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Toyota, and Nissan. Other popular brands are Honda, Subaru, Mazda, Suzuki, and Mitsubishi.

Automobiles are a significant part of the world’s economy and society, having played a key role in the development of many industries and cultures throughout history. They provide transportation for individuals, businesses, and governments. They also enable a large number of personal and family activities, such as shopping, dining, travel, and sports.

They are also essential for emergency services, such as fire engines and ambulances. There are also special vehicles for different jobs, such as cranes, road rollers, and fork-lifts in construction sites.

The main negative aspect of automobiles is their contribution to air pollution and climate change, which affects the quality of life for many people in the developed world. This is due to the exhaust fumes that are released when they are driven and because they deplete the supply of fossil fuels, such as oil.

It is not uncommon for a large city to have smog covering the air due to the excess amount of emissions that are released when they are driven. In some cases, the smog can have a harmful effect on human health.

These issues have led to a growing concern over the future of the automobile industry, with many companies focusing on renewable sources of energy to power their vehicles and to make their cars less polluting. These changes have been reflected in the increasing use of hybrid and electric vehicles and by governments’ attempts to restrict the amount of fuel that can be used for cars.

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