Automobiles are the vehicles that people use to transport themselves and goods from one place to another. They are often powered by engines that use fuel such as gas, diesel or kerosene to work. The engines are usually connected to the wheels and other systems such as steering and braking.

Few inventions have had as great an impact on society and culture as the automobile. With the car, people can travel to work and other locations, take road trips with friends and family, and visit places that are inaccessible by public transportation. Many industries and services developed to support automobiles, such as roads and highways, police, fire and ambulance, utilities and convenience stores. Automobile manufacturing became one of the first industries to adopt mass production techniques.

While there are a number of different types of automobiles, most have some features in common. They are all powered by an internal combustion engine that uses fuel to work, such as gasoline, diesel or kerosene. The engine connects to the wheels and other systems such as a braking system, a suspension system and a steering mechanism. Thousands of individual parts make up a modern automobile, much like the human body. These parts are arranged into semi-independent systems that have specific functions, just as the human body contains a circulatory system, for example, to deliver water and lubricating oil.

The most widely used automobiles today are cars, trucks and motorcycles. Compared to other vehicles, cars are more comfortable and offer better acceleration than the average truck or motorcycle. The earliest automobiles were essentially horse-drawn carriages with engines added. By the late 1800s, automobile companies were reconciling state-of-the-art design with moderate prices and enjoying great demand. This was partly due to the vast geography of the United States, which created a great need for transportation.