Automobiles are a complex technical system comprising many subsystems that perform specific design functions. These vehicles are primarily used for passenger transportation and usually propelled by an internal-combustion engine using a volatile fuel. Modern automobiles are largely based on gasoline, but also use diesel, CNG, and electric power.
An automotive manufacturer’s products must meet a wide range of performance and design requirements. Those intended for off-road travel must have durable, simple systems that can withstand severe overloads and extreme operating conditions. On the other hand, passenger cars for high-speed limited-access road systems must offer passengers more comfort options and optimized high-speed handling and stability. Vehicle design is influenced by the market and regulatory environment, with manufacturers striving to gain an edge over competitors by developing new features and technologies.
The automobile greatly expanded people’s access to jobs, housing and services. However, it brought harm to the environment by producing exhaust, causing highway accidents, and consuming vast amounts of undeveloped land for roads and related industries. It also contributed to the development of leisure activities, such as golf and other sports, and to the growth of service businesses like motels, hotels and fast-food restaurants.
Having a car isn’t a necessity for everyone, but it can make running errands a lot easier. Having a car can also help an individual qualify for other major purchases, such as a house, by demonstrating that he or she is responsible enough to regularly make loan payments.