Automobiles are a major part of modern life. They allow us to travel long distances quickly and easily. They also provide a convenient way to get around and do things, such as shopping or visiting friends and relatives. Many people cannot imagine life without an automobile. However, the invention of automobiles has had a large impact on society and the environment.
The automobile, also known as a motor car or automobile, is a self-propelled vehicle for transporting passengers and goods on land. Most modern automobiles use an internal combustion engine fueled by gasoline, a liquid petroleum product. Some use diesel fuel or electricity. The development of the automobile has been one of the most important events in human history. Many factors influence the design of the automobile, including safety, speed, comfort, cost and appearance. Research and development engineers design new systems to improve the performance of the automobile. They also develop and test the various components, such as the engine, transmission, wheels, tires, steering system, braking system and body.
Autos can be powered by a variety of fuel sources, including gas, oil and natural gas. The most common fuel is gasoline (petrol) which has an octane rating of 87. Other types of fuel include methanol, ethanol and biodiesel. These alternative fuels are blending the fossil fuels and are not as common as gasoline. The combustion of these fuels produces heat and air pollution. To reduce the air pollution caused by the burning of these fuels, most modern automobiles are designed with emissions control systems.
In addition to the fuel and power systems, automobiles require an electrical system to start the engine. They also need a battery to supply energy for the engine when it is not running and to recharge the electric system. Many automobiles have a cooling system to reduce the temperature of the engine and prevent it from overheating.
Most automobiles have a suspension system to improve the handling of the car and to provide a smooth ride for passengers. An independent suspension system allows the wheel to move more freely on the road surface, resulting in better handling and a smoother ride. Most automobiles also have a braking system to slow the car down or stop it when necessary. The braking system may use friction to slow the vehicle or, in the case of electric cars, the regenerative braking converts some of the energy of the motion into electricity.
The body of an automobile, like the skeleton of the human body, provides support and protection for the different systems. Its size and shape must be compatible with the requirements for safety, space and weight limitations, aerodynamics and appearance. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is responsible for the safety oversight of commercial motor vehicles, including automobiles. The Agency is also responsible for providing stewardship for America’s roads. To learn more, visit NHTSA.