What Are Automobiles?
Automobiles are a type of motor vehicle with wheels, usually designed to transport people. Most definitions of automobiles include the term to mean “a wheeled passenger vehicle mainly for the transportation of people, with four wheels and seating for one or more passengers.”
The scientific and technical building blocks of the modern car go back several hundred years, beginning in the late 1600s with Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens’ invention of a type of internal combustion engine fueled by gunpowder. By the end of the 19th century, it was not clear which of three fuel sources would become most commercially successful: steam, electric power, or gasoline.
In the early twentieth century, Henry Ford pioneered mass production techniques for automobiles that lowered their price until they became affordable to middle-class consumers. These included the use of assembly lines and standardized design, production, and purchasing.
Auto manufacturing involves the manufacture of motor vehicles, including cars and trucks, from components such as engines, transmissions, chassis, bodywork, and tires. It is one of the largest industries in the world, with more than 73 million new automobiles produced worldwide in 2017.
Historically, autos have been characterized by their speed and ruggedness. Today, however, most modern cars are designed with both performance and safety in mind.
Automotive engineering includes research and development of engine, drivetrain, control systems, and safety technologies. These advancements improve the quality and reliability of automotive products, reduce environmental impact, and improve driving comfort.
The engine is the heart of the car, and its design influences the entire vehicle’s performance. A variety of engine types are available for use in cars, with the most common being the reciprocating internal combustion engine.
Different types of engines are used for different purposes, depending on the power and torque requirements. For example, a diesel engine produces low emissions and high torque, while an air-cooled inline engine produces high torque but low emissions.
A diesel engine can run at very low temperatures, making it well suited for cold weather conditions. On the other hand, an oil-burning internal combustion engine must operate at high temperatures to produce the highest amount of torque.
Some cars also use an automatic transmission, which combines an automatic transmission with a manual transmission. This enables the driver to shift gears without touching the pedals.
An automatic transmission can be a belt or chain drive, or a shaft with a clutch and a gear box. In the former, the driver presses on a lever to change gears; in the latter, the clutch disengages the driven shaft from the driving shaft when the vehicle moves.
Another important part of the engine is the piston, which compresses and expands to move the vehicle. It can be either a cylindrical, conical, or rectangular shape.
The piston is a key component of the cylinder block, which is an essential part of the combustion process. It contains the spark plug and ignition coil, along with valves and a fuel supply system.