The Basics of Automobiles


Automobiles are wheeled motor vehicles that are used for transportation. According to most definitions, a car has four wheels and can seat one to eight people. Automobiles are the most common means of transportation, and their main purpose is to carry people. In the United States, there are around 230 million cars on the road.

Car body

Car bodies are made of a variety of materials. One of the most prevalent is steel. Since the early days of the automobile, cars have been made with a steel frame. Steel is an incredibly strong metal and relatively cheap to produce. Because of this, steel-based cars tend to be more affordable than their counterparts made of other materials.


Internal combustion engines are a common source of power in automobiles. The process of combustion transforms thermal energy into mechanical energy. The process starts with the intake valve that allows a mixture of air and petrol to enter the cylinder. The fuel and air are compressed and the combustion gases work on the piston to produce heat.


Controls in automobiles are used to operate various aspects of the vehicle. These can range from hand levers to steering wheel controls. In motorcycles, for example, the throttle and gear shift are operated by the hand lever. These controls are also found in rail vehicles and some trams.


Modern automobiles are complex systems, combining thousands of different components. The body structure, engine, transmission, and brakes are just a few of the subsystems used to design a modern automobile. The following presentation will discuss some of these components and give a basic understanding of their function.


During the early years of the 20th century, engineers and manufacturers of automobiles began to focus on ways to improve the safety and aerodynamics of their vehicles. This led to many improvements in automobile design and engineering.

Safety features

There are a variety of safety features that are increasingly standard in automobiles. While some features have been around for decades, others have only recently become popular. One example is airbags. Though airbags were invented decades ago, they weren’t widely used until the late 1980s. Since 1998, however, they have become a mandatory safety feature. Another popular safety feature is backup cameras. This technology allows drivers to see what is behind them while they are in reverse, which is a great help when driving. The recent introduction of these cameras has made them mandatory on new cars.