A car, also called a motorcar, is a wheeled vehicle usually designed for passenger transportation and powered most commonly by an internal combustion engine using a volatile fuel. Modern automobiles are complex technical systems, with thousands of subsystems that perform specific design functions. The automobile’s power is transmitted by the engine to the wheels through the transmission, which can be controlled by the driver through the steering wheel and brake pedals. Despite their initial expensive cost, automobiles have become the most common form of transportation in many countries.

During the last decades of the 19th century, Germany became a center of automobile-making, with the production of cars by Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz. Both produced gasoline-powered engines. However, it was Henry Ford who introduced mass production techniques to the automobile industry by introducing an assembly line in his Detroit plant in 1908. This system uses workers performing one task at a time while parts pass by on conveyer belts. This greatly reduced the amount of hand labor required for production and made automobiles much cheaper to produce.

Automobiles have become the primary means of transportation in many countries, with some 1.4 billion vehicles in operation worldwide. These vehicles are used over three trillion miles (almost five trillion kilometres) each year, and the United States is the largest market in terms of both total number of cars and passenger mileage. The automotive industry is an important part of the global economy and is responsible for a substantial portion of consumer spending.

The success of the automobile has led to significant changes in lifestyle and social organization. Automobiles have transformed cities and opened up rural areas to commerce. In addition, they have provided a way for people to spend their free time and make new friends. The personal freedom that a car offers is unmatched by any other mode of transportation.

The automobile is one of the most versatile and useful inventions in human history. It is now the most popular form of transportation on the planet, and it can be customized in countless ways to fit individual needs. From hyper-efficient electric models to roaring V8s, there is something for everyone on the road today.