An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor. Most definitions of the term specify that automobiles are designed to run primarily on roads, to have seating for one to eight people, to typically have four wheels, and to be constructed principally for the transport of people rather than goods.[3] The term motorcar has also been used in the context of electrified rail systems to denote a car which functions as a small locomotive but also provides space for passengers and baggage. These locomotive cars were often used on suburban routes by both interurban and intercity railroad systems.[4] It was estimated in 2010 that the number of automobiles had risen to over 1 billion vehicles, with 500 million reached in 1986.[5] The numbers are increasing rapidly, especially in China and India.[6] he word automobile comes, via the French automobile from the Ancient Greek word ????? (autos, "self") and the Latin mobilis ("movable"); meaning a vehicle that moves itself. The alternative name car is believed to originate from the Latin word carrus or carrum ("wheeled vehicle"), or the Middle English word carre ("cart") (from Old North French), in turn these are said to have originated from the Gaulish word karros (a Gallic Chariot).[7][8] History Main article: History of the automobile The first working steam-powered vehicle was designed - and possibly built - by Ferdinand Verbiest, a Flemish member of a Jesuit mission in China around 1672. It was a 65 cm-long scale-model toy for the Chinese Emperor, that was unable to carry a driver or a passenger.[9][10]

11] It is not known if Verbiest's model was ever built.[10] Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot is widely credited with building the first full-scale, self-propelled mechanical vehicle or automobile in about 1769; he created a steam-powered tricycle.[12] He also constructed two steam tractors for the French Army, one of which is preserved in the French National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts.[13] His inventions were however handicapped by problems with water supply and maintaining steam pressure.[13] In 1801, Richard Trevithick built and demonstrated his Puffing Devil road locomotive, believed by many to be the first demonstration of a steam-powered road vehicle. It was unable to maintain sufficient steam pressure for long periods, and was of little practical use. In 1807 Nicephore Niepce and his brother Claude probably created the world's first internal combustion engine which they called a Pyreolophore, but they chose to install it in a boat on the river Saone in France.[14] Coincidentally, in 1807 the Swiss inventor Francois Isaac de Rivaz designed his own 'de Rivaz internal combustion engine' and used it to develop the world's first vehicle to be powered by such an engine. The Niepces' Pyreolophore was fuelled by a mixture of Lycopodium powder (dried spores of the Lycopodium plant), finely crushed coal dust and resin that were mixed with oil, whereas de Rivaz used a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen.[14] Neither design was very successful, as was the case with others, such as Samuel Brown, Samuel Morey, and Etienne Lenoir with his hippomobile, who each produced vehicles (usually adapted carriages or carts) powered by clumsy internal combustion engines.