Automobiles are four-wheeled transportation vehicles that use an engine or motor to provide the power to move. The term automobile comes from the Greek prefix “auto” (self) and Latin word “mobilis” meaning “to move.” The modern automobile has revolutionized life in industrialized countries by allowing people to travel quickly over long distances. Entire cities have been restructured around automobiles, and societal systems such as police, fire, and ambulance services have developed around their use. Despite their promise of freedom and convenience, however, automobiles have become the source of significant environmental and social problems.

The modern automobile has many systems that need to function together, including the suspension system, braking system, steering system, wheels and tires, and the body. The body, analogous to the skeleton of a human being, provides structural support and offers storage space for passengers as well as protection from the elements and crash forces. The suspension system is a set of springs and shock absorbers that suspend the automobile above the wheels, absorbing vibrations from road surfaces and the force of acceleration and deceleration. The braking system stops the automobile when necessary, and the electrical system uses a battery to generate energy for the engine or motor to turn the wheels.

Most automobiles have at least three forward gears and one reverse. Each gear changes the ratio of the number of rotations of the crankshaft to the number of revolutions of the wheel, enabling the automobile to move with greater speed and torque when needed. Most automobiles have a manual transmission, although some have an automatic transmission.

Automakers constantly strive to improve their products, seeking to find ways to increase performance and luxury while maintaining reliability. Research and development engineers work to improve the automobile’s body, chassis, engines, drivetrains, control systems, safety systems, and emissions-control systems.

If you’re shopping for a new car, it’s important to do your research and consider all the options. The best cars are those that meet your needs, whether you’re looking for a family SUV with plenty of cargo room or a sporty convertible for cruising along the beach. You should also take a close look at the fuel economy ratings and safety features of each vehicle. Once you’ve done your research, compare prices between different dealers and choose the best deal for your budget.