A vehicle (from Latin: vehiculum[1]) is a machine that transports people or cargo. Vehicles include wagons, bicycles, motor vehicles (motorcycles, cars, trucks, buses), railed vehicles (trains, trams), watercraft (ships, boats), amphibious vehicles (screw-propelled vehicle, hovercraft), aircraft (airplanes, helicopters) and spacecraft.[2]

Land vehicles are classified broadly by what is used to apply steering and drive forces against the ground: wheeled, tracked, railed or skied. ISO 3833-1977 is the standard, also internationally used in legislation, for road vehicles types, terms and definitions.[3]

Transperth Volgren CR228L bodied Volvo B7RLE
Buses are a common form of vehicles used for public transport.


Dlubanka swidnica 2
A Slavic dugout boat from the 10th century
2018 Honda Jazz (GK5 MY18) VTi-S hatchback (2018-08-06) 01
Automobiles are among the most commonly used engine-powered vehicles

Types of vehicles

Left side of Flying Pigeon
The most common model of vehicle in the world, the Flying Pigeon bicycle. (2011)
Treemap of most-produced vehicles to date
Treemap of the most common vehicles ever made, with total number made shown by size, and type/model labeled and distinguished by color. Fixed-wing airplanes, helicopters, and commercial jetliners are visible in the lower right corner at maximum zoom.

There are over 1 billion bicycles in use worldwide.[23] In 2002 there were an estimated 590 million cars and 205 million motorcycles in service in the world.[24][25] At least 500 million Chinese Flying Pigeon bicycles have been made, more than any other single model of vehicle.[26][27] The most-produced model of motor vehicle is the Honda Super Cub motorcycle, having passed 60 million units in 2008.[28][29] The most-produced car model is the Toyota Corolla, with at least 35 million made by 2010.[30][31] The most common fixed-wing airplane is the Cessna 172, with about 44,000 having been made as of 2017.[32][33] The Soviet Mil Mi-8, at 17,000, is the most-produced helicopter.[34] The top commercial jet airliner is the Boeing 737, at about 10,000 in 2018.[35][36][37]


Locomotion consists of a means that allows displacement with little opposition, a power source to provide the required kinetic energy and a means to control the motion, such as a brake and steering system. By far, most vehicles use wheels which employ the principle of rolling to enable displacement with very little rolling friction.

Energy source

China E-bike
An electric bike in China (2011)

It is essential that a vehicle have a source of energy to drive it. Energy can be extracted from external sources, as in the cases of a sailboat, a solar-powered car, or an electric streetcar that uses overhead lines. Energy can also be stored, provided it can be converted on demand and the storing medium's energy density and power density are sufficient to meet the vehicle's needs.

Human power is a simple source of energy that requires nothing more than humans. Despite the fact that humans cannot exceed 500 W (0.67 hp) for meaningful amounts of time,[38] the land speed record for human-powered vehicles (unpaced) is 133 km/h (83 mph), as of 2009 on a recumbent bicycle.[39]

The most common type of energy source is fuel. External combustion engines can use almost anything that burns as fuel, whilst internal combustion engines and rocket engines are designed to burn a specific fuel, typically gasoline, diesel or ethanol.

Another common medium for storing energy is batteries, which have the advantages of being responsive, useful in a wide range of power levels, environmentally friendly, efficient, simple to install, and easy to maintain. Batteries also facilitate the use of electric motors, which have their own advantages. On the other hand, batteries have low energy densities, short service life, poor performance at extreme temperatures, long charging times, and difficulties with disposal (although they can usually be recycled). Like fuel, batteries store chemical energy and can cause burns and poisoning in event of an accident.[40] Batteries also lose effectiveness with time.[41] The issue of charge time can be resolved by swapping discharged batteries with charged ones;[42] however, this incurs additional hardware costs and may be impractical for larger batteries. Moreover, there must be standard batteries for battery swapping to work at a gas station. Fuel cells are similar to batteries in that they convert from chemical to electrical energy, but have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Electrified rails and overhead cables are a common source of electrical energy on subways, railways, trams, and trolleybuses. Solar energy is a more modern development, and several solar vehicles have been successfully built and tested, including Helios, a solar-powered aircraft.

Nuclear power is a more exclusive form of energy storage, currently limited to large ships and submarines, mostly military. Nuclear energy can be released by a nuclear reactor, nuclear battery, or repeatedly detonating nuclear bombs. There have been two experiments with nuclear-powered aircraft, the Tupolev Tu-119 and the Convair X-6.

Mechanical strain is another method of storing energy, whereby an elastic band or metal spring is deformed and releases energy as it is allowed to return to its ground state. Systems employing elastic materials suffer from hysteresis, and metal springs are too dense to be useful in many cases.

Flywheels store energy in a spinning mass. Because a light and fast rotor is energetically favorable, flywheels can pose a significant safety hazard. Moreover, flywheels leak energy fairly quickly and affect a vehicle's steering through the gyroscopic effect. They have been used experimentally in gyrobuses.

Wind energy is used by sailboats and land yachts as the primary source of energy. It is very cheap and fairly easy to use, the main issues being dependence on weather and upwind performance. Balloons also rely on the wind to move horizontally. Aircraft flying in the jet stream may get a boost from high altitude winds.

Compressed gas is currently an experimental method of storing energy. In this case, compressed gas is simply stored in a tank and released when necessary. Like elastics, they have hysteresis losses when gas heats up during compression.

Gravitational potential energy is a form of energy used in gliders, skis, bobsleds and numerous other vehicles that go down hill. Regenerative braking is an example of capturing kinetic energy where the brakes of a vehicle are augmented with a generator or other means of extracting energy.[43]

Motors and engines

When needed, the energy is taken from the source and consumed by one or more motors or engines. Sometimes there is an intermediate medium, such as the batteries of a diesel submarine.[44]

Most motor vehicles have internal combustion engines. They are fairly cheap, easy to maintain, reliable, safe and small. Since these engines burn fuel, they have long ranges but pollute the environment. A related engine is the external combustion engine. An example of this is the steam engine. Aside from fuel, steam engines also need water, making them impractical for some purposes. Steam engines also need time to warm up, whereas IC engines can usually run right after being started, although this may not be recommended in cold conditions. Steam engines burning coal release sulfur into the air, causing harmful acid rain.[45]

Kymco G3 Mark II 20080111
A modern scooter in Taiwan.

While intermittent internal combustion engines were once the primary means of aircraft propulsion, they have been largely superseded by continuous internal combustion engines: gas turbines. Turbine engines are light and, particularly when used on aircraft, efficient. On the other hand, they cost more and require careful maintenance. They can also be damaged by ingesting foreign objects, and they produce a hot exhaust. Trains using turbines are called gas turbine-electric locomotives. Examples of surface vehicles using turbines are M1 Abrams, MTT Turbine SUPERBIKE and the Millennium. Pulse jet engines are similar in many ways to turbojets, but have almost no moving parts. For this reason, they were very appealing to vehicle designers in the past; however their noise, heat and inefficiency has led to their abandonment. A historical example of the use of a pulse jet was the V-1 flying bomb. Pulse jets are still occasionally used in amateur experiments. With the advent of modern technology, the pulse detonation engine has become practical and was successfully tested on a Rutan VariEze. While the pulse detonation engine is much more efficient than the pulse jet and even turbine engines, it still suffers from extreme noise and vibration levels. Ramjets also have few moving parts, but they only work at high speed, so that their use is restricted to tip jet helicopters and high speed aircraft such as the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird.[46][47]

Rocket engines are primarily used on rockets, rocket sleds and experimental aircraft. Rocket engines are extremely powerful. The heaviest vehicle ever to leave the ground, the Saturn V rocket, was powered by five F-1 rocket engines generating a combined 180 million horsepower[48] (134.2 gigawatt). Rocket engines also have no need to "push off" anything, a fact that the New York Times denied in error. Rocket engines can be particularly simple, sometimes consisting of nothing more than a catalyst, as in the case of a hydrogen peroxide rocket.[49] This makes them an attractive option for vehicles such as jet packs. Despite their simplicity, rocket engines are often dangerous and susceptible to explosions. The fuel they run off may be flammable, poisonous, corrosive or cryogenic. They also suffer from poor efficiency. For these reasons, rocket engines are only used when absolutely necessary.

Electric motors are used in electric vehicles such as electric bicycles, electric scooters, small boats, subways, trains, trolleybuses, trams and experimental aircraft. Electric motors can be very efficient: over 90% efficiency is common.[50] Electric motors can also be built to be powerful, reliable, low-maintenance and of any size. Electric motors can deliver a range of speeds and torques without necessarily using a gearbox (although it may be more economical to use one). Electric motors are limited in their use chiefly by the difficulty of supplying electricity.

Compressed gas motors have been used on some vehicles experimentally. They are simple, efficient, safe, cheap, reliable and operate in a variety of conditions. One of the difficulties met when using gas motors is the cooling effect of expanding gas. These engines are limited by how quickly they absorb heat from their surroundings.[51] The cooling effect can, however, double as air conditioning. Compressed gas motors also lose effectiveness with falling gas pressure.

Ion thrusters are used on some satellites and spacecraft. They are only effective in a vacuum, which limits their use to spaceborne vehicles. Ion thrusters run primarily off electricity, but they also need a propellant such as caesium, or more recently xenon.[52][53] Ion thrusters can achieve extremely high speeds and use little propellant; however they are power-hungry.[54]

Converting energy to work

The mechanical energy that motors and engines produce must be converted to work by wheels, propellers, nozzles, or similar means. Aside from converting mechanical energy into motion, wheels allow a vehicle to roll along a surface and, with the exception of railed vehicles, to be steered.[55] Wheels are ancient technology, with specimens being discovered from over 5000 years ago.[56] Wheels are used in a plethora of vehicles, including motor vehicles, armoured personnel carriers, amphibious vehicles, airplanes, trains, skateboards and wheelbarrows.

Nozzles are used in conjunction with almost all reaction engines.[57] Vehicles using nozzles include jet aircraft, rockets and personal watercraft. While most nozzles take the shape of a cone or bell,[57] some unorthodox designs have been created such as the aerospike. Some nozzles are intangible, such as the electromagnetic field nozzle of a vectored ion thruster.[58]

Continuous track is sometimes used instead of wheels to power land vehicles. Continuous track has the advantages of a larger contact area, easy repairs on small damage, and high maneuverability.[59] Examples of vehicles using continuous track are tanks, snowmobiles and excavators. Two continuous tracks used together allow for steering. The largest vehicle in the world,[60] the Bagger 288, is propelled by continuous tracks.

Propellers (as well as screws, fans and rotors) are used to move through a fluid. Propellers have been used as toys since ancient times, however it was Leonardo da Vinci who devised what was one of the earliest propeller driven vehicles, the "aerial-screw".[61] In 1661, Toogood & Hays adopted the screw for use as a ship propeller.[62] Since then, the propeller has been tested on many terrestrial vehicles, including the Schienenzeppelin train and numerous cars.[63] In modern times, propellers are most prevalent on watercraft and aircraft, as well as some amphibious vehicles such as hovercraft and ground effect vehicles. Intuitively, propellers cannot work in space as there is no working fluid, however some sources have suggested that since space is never empty, a propeller could be made to work in space.[64]

Similarly to propeller vehicles, some vehicles use wings for propulsion. Sailboats and sailplanes are propelled by the forward component of lift generated by their sails/wings.[65][66] Ornithopters also produce thrust aerodynamically. Ornithopters with large rounded leading edges produce lift by leading-edge suction forces.[67]

Paddle wheels are used on some older watercraft and their reconstructions. These ships were known as paddle steamers. Because paddle wheels simply push against the water, their design and construction is very simple. The oldest such ship in scheduled service is the Skibladner.[68] Many pedalo boats also use paddle wheels for propulsion.

Screw-propelled vehicles are propelled by auger-like cylinders fitted with helical flanges. Because they can produce thrust on both land and water, they are commonly used on all-terrain vehicles. The ZiL-2906 was a Soviet-designed screw-propelled vehicle designed to retrieve cosmonauts from the Siberian wilderness.[69]


All or almost all of the useful energy produced by the engine is usually dissipated as friction; so minimising frictional losses is very important in many vehicles. The main sources of friction are rolling friction and fluid drag (air drag or water drag).

Wheels have low bearing friction and pneumatic tyres give low rolling friction. Steel wheels on steel tracks are lower still.[70]

Aerodynamic drag can be reduced by streamlined design features.

Friction is desirable and important in supplying traction to facilitate motion on land. Most land vehicles rely on friction for accelerating, decelerating and changing direction. Sudden reductions in traction can cause loss of control and accidents.



Most vehicles, with the notable exception of railed vehicles, have at least one steering mechanism. Wheeled vehicles steer by angling their front[55] or rear[71] wheels. The B-52 Stratofortress has a special arrangement in which all four main wheels can be angled.[72] Skids can also be used to steer by angling them, as in the case of a snowmobile. Ships, boats, submarines, dirigibles and aeroplanes usually have a rudder for steering. On an airplane, ailerons are used to bank the airplane for directional control, sometimes assisted by the rudder.


With no power applied, most vehicles come to a stop due to friction. But it is often required to stop a vehicle faster than by friction alone: so almost all vehicles are equipped with a braking system. Wheeled vehicles are typically equipped with friction brakes, which use the friction between brake pads (stators) and brake rotors to slow the vehicle.[43] Many airplanes have high performance versions of the same system in their landing gear for use on the ground. A Boeing 757 brake, for example, has 3 stators and 4 rotors.[73] The Space Shuttle also uses frictional brakes on its wheels.[74] As well as frictional brakes, hybrid/electric cars, trolleybuses and electric bicycles can also use regenerative brakes to recycle some of the vehicle's potential energy.[43] High-speed trains sometimes use frictionless Eddy-current brakes; however widespread application of the technology has been limited by overheating and interference issues.[75]

Aside from landing gear brakes, most large aircraft have other ways of decelerating. In aircraft, air brakes are aerodynamic surfaces that create friction, with the air flow causing the vehicle to slow. These are usually implemented as flaps that oppose air flow when extended and are flush with aircraft when retracted. Reverse thrust is also used in many aeroplane engines. Propeller aircraft achieve reverse thrust by reversing the pitch of the propellers, while jet aircraft do so by redirecting their engine exhaust forwards.[76] On aircraft carriers, arresting gears are used to stop an aircraft. Pilots may even apply full forward throttle on touchdown, in case the arresting gear does not catch and a go around is needed.[77]

Parachutes are used to slow down vehicles travelling very fast. Parachutes have been used in land, air and space vehicles such as the ThrustSSC, Eurofighter Typhoon and Apollo Command Module. Some older Soviet passenger jets had braking parachutes for emergency landings.[78] Boats use similar devices called sea anchors to maintain stability in rough seas.

To further increase the rate of deceleration or where the brakes have failed, several mechanisms can be used to stop a vehicle. Cars and rolling stock usually have hand brakes that, while designed to secure an already parked vehicle, can provide limited braking should the primary brakes fail. A secondary procedure called forward-slip is sometimes used to slow airplanes by flying at an angle, causing more drag.


Motor vehicle and trailer categories are defined according to the following international classification:[79]

  • Category M: passenger vehicles.
  • Category N: motor vehicles for the carriage of goods.
  • Category O: trailers and semi-trailers.

European Union

In the European Union the classifications for vehicle types are defined by:[80]

  • Commission Directive 2001/116/EC of 20 December 2001, adapting to technical progress Council Directive 70/156/EEC on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the type-approval of motor vehicles and their trailers[81][82]
  • Directive 2002/24/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 March 2002 relating to the type-approval of two or three wheeled motor vehicles and repealing Council Directive 92/61/EEC

European Community, is based on the Community's WVTA (whole vehicle type-approval) system. Under this system, manufacturers can obtain certification for a vehicle type in one Member State if it meets the EC technical requirements and then market it EU-wide with no need for further tests. Total technical harmonization already has been achieved in three vehicle categories (passenger cars, motorcycles, and tractors) and soon will extend to other vehicle categories (coaches and utility vehicles). It is essential that European car manufacturers be ensured access to as large a market as possible.

While the Community type-approval system allows manufacturers to benefit fully from internal market opportunities, worldwide technical harmonization in the context of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) offers a market beyond European borders.


In many cases, it is unlawful to operate a vehicle without a license or certification. The least strict form of regulation usually limits what passengers the driver may carry or prohibits them completely (e.g., a Canadian ultra-light license without endorsements).[83] The next level of licensing may allow passengers, but without any form of compensation or payment. A private driver's license usually has these conditions. Commercial licenses that allow the transport of passengers and cargo are more tightly regulated. The most strict form of licensing is generally reserved for school buses, hazardous materials transports and emergency vehicles.

The driver of a motor vehicle is typically required to hold a valid driver's license while driving on public lands, whereas the pilot of an aircraft must have a license at all times, regardless of where in the jurisdiction the aircraft is flying.


Vehicles are often required to be registered. Registration may be for purely legal reasons, for insurance reasons or to help law enforcement recover stolen vehicles. Toronto Police Service, for example, offers free and optional bicycle registration online.[84] On motor vehicles, registration often takes the form of a vehicle registration plate, which makes it easy to identify a vehicle. In Russia, trucks and buses have their licence plate numbers repeated in large black letters on the back. On aircraft, a similar system is used where a tail number is painted on various surfaces. Like motor vehicles and aircraft, watercraft also have registration numbers in most jurisdictions, however the vessel name is still the primary means of identification as has been the case since ancient times. For this reason, duplicate registration names are generally rejected. In Canada, boats with an engine power of 10 hp (7.5 kW) or greater require registration,[85] leading to the ubiquitous "9.9 hp (7.4 kW)" engine.

Registration may be conditional on the vehicle being approved for use on public highways, as in the case of the UK[86] and Ontario.[87] Many US states also have requirements for vehicles operating on public highways.[88] Aircraft have more stringent requirements, as they pose a high risk of damage to people and property in event of an accident. In the US, the FAA requires aircraft to have an airworthiness certificate.[89][90] Because US aircraft must be flown for some time before they are certified,[91] there is a provision for an experimental airworthiness certificate.[92] FAA experimental aircraft are restricted in operation, including no overflights of populated areas, in busy airspace or with unessential passengers.[91] Materials and parts used in FAA certified aircraft must meet the criteria set forth by the technical standard orders.[93]

Mandatory safety equipment

In many jurisdictions, the operator of a vehicle is legally obligated to carry safety equipment with or on them. Common examples include seat belts in cars, helmets on motorcycles and bicycles, fire extinguishers on boats, buses and airplanes and life jackets on boats and commercial aircraft. Passenger aircraft carry a great deal of safety equipment including inflatable slides are rafts, oxygen masks, oxygen tanks, life jackets, satellite beacons and first aid kits. Some equipment such as life jackets has led to debate regarding their usefulness. In the case of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961, the life jackets saved many people but also led to many deaths when passengers inflated their vests prematurely.


There are specific real-estate arrangements made to allow vehicles to travel from one place to another. The most common such arrangements are public highways, where appropriately licensed vehicles can navigate without hindrance. These highways are on public land and are maintained by the government. Similarly, toll routes are open to the public after paying a toll. These routes and the land they rest on may be government or privately owned or a combination of both. Some routes are privately owned but grant access to the public. These routes often have a warning sign stating that the government does not maintain the way. An example of this are byways in England and Wales. In Scotland, land is open to un-motorised vehicles if the land meets certain criteria. Public land is sometimes open to use by off-road vehicles. On US public land, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) decides where vehicles may be used. Railways often pass over land not owned by the railway company. The right to this land is granted to the railway company through mechanisms such as easement. Watercraft are generally allowed to navigate public waters without restriction as long as they do not cause a disturbance. Passing through a lock, however, may require paying a toll. Despite the common law tradition Cuius est solum, eius est usque ad coelum et ad inferos of owning all the air above one's property, the US Supreme Court ruled that aircraft in the US have the right to use air above someone else's property without their consent. While the same rule generally applies in all jurisdictions, some countries such as Cuba and Russia have taken advantage of air rights on a national level to earn money.[94] There are some areas that aircraft are barred from overflying. This is called prohibited airspace. Prohibited airspace is usually strictly enforced due to potential damage from espionage or attack. In the case of Korean Air Lines Flight 007, the airliner entered prohibited airspace over Soviet territory and was shot down as it was leaving.


For a comparison of transportation fatality rates, see: Air safety statistics.

Several different metrics used to compare and evaluate the safety of different vehicles. The main three are deaths per billion passenger-journeys, deaths per billion passenger-hours and deaths per billion passenger-kilometers.

See also


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Automotive industry

The automotive industry comprises a wide range of companies and organizations involved in the design, development, manufacturing, marketing, and selling of motor vehicles. It is one of the world's largest economic sectors by revenue. The automotive industry does not include industries dedicated to the maintenance of automobiles following delivery to the end-user, such as automobile repair shops and motor fuel filling stations.

The word automotive comes from the Greek autos (self), and Latin motivus (of motion), referring to any form of self-powered vehicle. This term, as proposed by Elmer Sperry

(1860-1930), first came into use with reference to automobiles in 1898.

Autonomous car

A autonomous car, also known as a robot car, self-driving car, or driverless car, is a vehicle that is capable of sensing its environment and moving with little or no human input.Autonomous cars combine a variety of sensors to perceive their surroundings, such as radar, Lidar, sonar, GPS, odometry and inertial measurement units. Advanced control systems interpret sensory information to identify appropriate navigation paths, as well as obstacles and relevant signage.Long distance trucks are seen as being in the forefront of adopting and implementing the technology.


A car (or automobile) is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transportation. Most definitions of car say they run primarily on roads, seat one to eight people, have four tires, and mainly transport people rather than goods.Cars came into global use during the 20th century, and developed economies depend on them. The year 1886 is regarded as the birth year of the modern car when German inventor Karl Benz patented his Benz Patent-Motorwagen. Cars became widely available in the early 20th century. One of the first cars accessible to the masses was the 1908 Model T, an American car manufactured by the Ford Motor Company. Cars were rapidly adopted in the US, where they replaced animal-drawn carriages and carts, but took much longer to be accepted in Western Europe and other parts of the world.

Cars have controls for driving, parking, passenger comfort, and a variety of lights. Over the decades, additional features and controls have been added to vehicles, making them progressively more complex. These include rear reversing cameras, air conditioning, navigation systems, and in-car entertainment. Most cars in use in the 2010s are propelled by an internal combustion engine, fueled by the combustion of fossil fuels. Electric cars, which were invented early in the history of the car, began to become commercially available in 2008.

There are costs and benefits to car use. The costs to the individual include acquiring the vehicle, interest payments (if the car is financed), repairs and maintenance, fuel, depreciation, driving time, parking fees, taxes, and insurance. The costs to society include maintaining roads, land use, road congestion, air pollution, public health, health care, and disposing of the vehicle at the end of its life. Road traffic accidents are the largest cause of injury-related deaths worldwide.The personal benefits include on-demand transportation, mobility, independence, and convenience. The societal benefits include economic benefits, such as job and wealth creation from the automotive industry, transportation provision, societal well-being from leisure and travel opportunities, and revenue generation from the taxes. People's ability to move flexibly from place to place has far-reaching implications for the nature of societies. There are around 1 billion cars in use worldwide. The numbers are increasing rapidly, especially in China, India and other newly industrialized countries.

Crossover (automobile)

A crossover SUV— also called crossover or CUV— is a type of sports utility vehicle (SUV) that uses a unibody construction. Crossovers are often based on a platform shared with a passenger car, as a result they typically have better comfort and fuel economy, but less off-road capability (many crossovers are sold without all-wheel drive) than truck-based SUVs.There are various inconsistencies about whether vehicles are considered crossovers or SUVs, therefore the term SUV is often used as a catch-all for both crossovers and SUVs.

Early crossovers include the 1979 AMC Eagle and 1994 Toyota RAV4.

In the United States as of 2006 more than 50% of the overall SUV market were crossover models. Crossovers have also become increasingly popular in Europe since the early 2010s.

Electric vehicle

An electric vehicle, also called an EV, uses one or more electric motors or traction motors for propulsion. An electric vehicle may be powered through a collector system by electricity from off-vehicle sources, or may be self-contained with a battery, solar panels or an electric generator to convert fuel to electricity. EVs include, but are not limited to, road and rail vehicles, surface and underwater vessels, electric aircraft and electric spacecraft.

EVs first came into existence in the mid-19th century, when electricity was among the preferred methods for motor vehicle propulsion, providing a level of comfort and ease of operation that could not be achieved by the gasoline cars of the time. Modern internal combustion engines have been the dominant propulsion method for motor vehicles for almost 100 years, but electric power has remained commonplace in other vehicle types, such as trains and smaller vehicles of all types.

In the 21st century, EVs saw a resurgence due to technological developments, and an increased focus on renewable energy. A great deal of demand for electric vehicles developed and a small core of do-it-yourself (DIY) engineers began sharing technical details for doing electric vehicle conversions. Government incentives to increase adoptions were introduced, including in the United States and the European Union.Electric vehicles are expected to increase from 2% of global share in 2016 to 22% in 2030.

Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automaker that has its main headquarter in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. It was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. The company sells automobiles and commercial vehicles under the Ford brand and most luxury cars under the Lincoln brand. Ford also owns Brazilian SUV manufacturer Troller, an 8% stake in Aston Martin of the United Kingdom and a 32% stake in Jiangling Motors. It also has joint-ventures in China (Changan Ford), Taiwan (Ford Lio Ho), Thailand (AutoAlliance Thailand), Turkey (Ford Otosan), and Russia (Ford Sollers). The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is controlled by the Ford family; they have minority ownership but the majority of the voting power.Ford introduced methods for large-scale manufacturing of cars and large-scale management of an industrial workforce using elaborately engineered manufacturing sequences typified by moving assembly lines; by 1914, these methods were known around the world as Fordism. Ford's former UK subsidiaries Jaguar and Land Rover, acquired in 1989 and 2000 respectively, were sold to Tata Motors in March 2008. Ford owned the Swedish automaker Volvo from 1999 to 2010. In 2011, Ford discontinued the Mercury brand, under which it had marketed entry-level luxury cars in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Middle East since 1938.

Ford is the second-largest U.S.-based automaker (behind General Motors) and the fifth-largest in the world (behind Toyota, VW, Hyundai-Kia and General Motors) based on 2015 vehicle production. At the end of 2010, Ford was the fifth largest automaker in Europe. The company went public in 1956 but the Ford family, through special Class B shares, still retain 40 percent voting rights. During the financial crisis at the beginning of the 21st century, it was close to bankruptcy, but it has since returned to profitability. Ford was the eleventh-ranked overall American-based company in the 2018 Fortune 500 list, based on global revenues in 2017 of $156.7 billion. In 2008, Ford produced 5.532 million automobiles and employed about 213,000 employees at around 90 plants and facilities worldwide.

General Motors

General Motors Company, commonly referred to as General Motors (GM), is an American multinational corporation headquartered in Detroit that designs, manufactures, markets, and distributes vehicles and vehicle parts, and sells financial services, with global headquarters in Detroit's Renaissance Center. It was originally founded by William C. Durant on September 16, 1908 as a holding company. The company is the largest American automobile manufacturer, and one of the world's largest. As of 2018, General Motors is ranked #10 on the Fortune 500 rankings of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.General Motors manufactures vehicles in 37 countries; its core automobile brands include Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac. It also either owns or holds a significant stake in foreign brands such as Holden, Wuling, Baojun, and Jiefang. Annual worldwide sales volume reached a milestone of 10 million vehicles in 2016.


The High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV; colloquial: Humvee) is a family of light, four-wheel drive, military trucks and utility vehicles produced by AM General. It has largely supplanted the roles previously performed by the original jeep, and others such as the Vietnam War-era M151 jeep, the M561 "Gama Goat", their M718A1 and M792 ambulance versions, the Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicle (CUCV), and other light trucks. Primarily used by the United States military, it is also used by numerous other countries and organizations and even in civilian adaptations. The Humvee saw widespread use in the Gulf War of 1991, where it negotiated the treacherous desert terrain; this usage helped to inspire civilian Hummer versions. After going through a replacement process, the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) was chosen as its successor.

Indian Space Research Organisation

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO, ) is the space agency of the Government of India headquartered in the city of Bengaluru. Its vision is to "harness space technology for national development while pursuing space science research and planetary exploration." Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) was established

by Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of the Indian Government under the DAE in 1962, with the urging of scientist Vikram Sarabhai recognizing the need in space research. INCOSPAR grew into ISRO in 1969 also under the DAE. In 1972 Government of India setup a Space Commission and the Department of Space (DOS), bringing ISRO under the DOS. The establishment of ISRO thus institutionalized space research activities in India. It is managed by the Department of Space, which reports to the Prime Minister of India. ISRO built India's first satellite, Aryabhata, which was launched by the Soviet Union on 19 April 1975. It was named after the mathematician Aryabhata. In 1980, Rohini became the first satellite to be placed in orbit by an Indian-made launch vehicle, SLV-3. ISRO subsequently developed two other rockets: the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) for launching satellites into polar orbits and the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) for placing satellites into geostationary orbits. These rockets have launched numerous communications satellites and earth observation satellites. Satellite navigation systems like GAGAN and IRNSS have been deployed. In January 2014, ISRO used an indigenous cryogenic engine in a GSLV-D5 launch of the GSAT-14.ISRO sent a lunar orbiter, Chandrayaan-1, on 22 October 2008 and a Mars orbiter, Mars Orbiter Mission, on 5 November 2013, which entered Mars orbit on 24 September 2014, making India the first nation to succeed on its first attempt to Mars, and ISRO the fourth space agency in the world as well as the first space agency in Asia to reach Mars orbit. On 18 June 2016, ISRO set a record with a launch of twenty satellites in a single payload, one being a satellite from Google. On 15 February 2017, ISRO launched one hundred and four satellites in a single rocket (PSLV-C37) and created a world record. ISRO launched its heaviest rocket, Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III), on 5 June 2017 and placed a communications satellite GSAT-19 in orbit. With this launch, ISRO became capable of launching 4-ton heavy satellites into GTO.

Future plans include the development of Unified Launch Vehicle, Small Satellite Launch Vehicle, development of a reusable launch vehicle, human spaceflight, controlled soft lunar landing, interplanetary probes, and a solar spacecraft mission.

Internal combustion engine

An internal combustion engine (ICE) is a heat engine where the combustion of a fuel occurs with an oxidizer (usually air) in a combustion chamber that is an integral part of the working fluid flow circuit. In an internal combustion engine, the expansion of the high-temperature and high-pressure gases produced by combustion applies direct force to some component of the engine. The force is applied typically to pistons, turbine blades, rotor or a nozzle. This force moves the component over a distance, transforming chemical energy into useful mechanical energy.

The first commercially successful internal combustion engine was created by Étienne Lenoir around 1859 and the first modern internal combustion engine was created in 1876 by Nikolaus Otto (see Otto engine).

The term internal combustion engine usually refers to an engine in which combustion is intermittent, such as the more familiar four-stroke and two-stroke piston engines, along with variants, such as the six-stroke piston engine and the Wankel rotary engine. A second class of internal combustion engines use continuous combustion: gas turbines, jet engines and most rocket engines, each of which are internal combustion engines on the same principle as previously described. Firearms are also a form of internal combustion engine.In contrast, in external combustion engines, such as steam or Stirling engines, energy is delivered to a working fluid not consisting of, mixed with, or contaminated by combustion products. Working fluids can be air, hot water, pressurized water or even liquid sodium, heated in a boiler. ICEs are usually powered by energy-dense fuels such as gasoline or diesel fuel, liquids derived from fossil fuels. While there are many stationary applications, most ICEs are used in mobile applications and are the dominant power supply for vehicles such as cars, aircraft, and boats.

Typically an ICE is fed with fossil fuels like natural gas or petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel fuel or fuel oil. There is a growing usage of renewable fuels like biodiesel for CI (compression ignition) engines and bioethanol or methanol for SI (spark ignition) engines. Hydrogen is sometimes used, and can be obtained from either fossil fuels or renewable energy.


Mercedes-Benz (German: [mɛʁˈtseːdəsˌbɛnts] or [-dɛs-]) is a German global automobile marque and a division of Daimler AG. The brand is known for luxury vehicles, buses, coaches, and trucks. The headquarters is in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg. The name first appeared in 1926 under Daimler-Benz. In 2018, Mercedes-Benz was the biggest selling premium vehicle brand in the world, having sold 2.31 million passenger cars.Mercedes-Benz traces its origins to Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft's 1901 Mercedes and Karl Benz's 1886 Benz Patent-Motorwagen, which is widely regarded as the first gasoline-powered automobile. The slogan for the brand is "the best or nothing".

Orion (spacecraft)

The Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (Orion MPCV) is an American-European interplanetary spacecraft intended to carry a crew of four astronauts to destinations at or beyond low Earth orbit (LEO). Currently under development by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) for launch on the Space Launch System, Orion is intended to facilitate human exploration of the Moon, asteroids and of Mars and to retrieve crew or supplies from the International Space Station if needed.The Orion MPCV was announced by NASA on May 24, 2011, and is currently under development. Its design is based on the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle from the cancelled Constellation program. It has two main modules. The Orion command module is being built by Lockheed Martin at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. The Orion service module, provided by the European Space Agency, is being built by Airbus Defence and Space.

The MPCV's first test flight (uncrewed), known as Exploration Flight Test 1 (EFT-1), was launched atop a Delta IV Heavy rocket on December 5, 2014, on a flight lasting 4 hours and 24 minutes, landing at its target in the Pacific Ocean at 10:29 Central (delayed from the prior day due to technical and weather problems). The first mission to carry astronauts is not expected to take place until 2023 at the earliest, although NASA officials have said that their staff is working toward an "aggressive internal goal" of 2021. However, a July 2016 Government Accountability Office report cast doubt on even the 2023 launch date, suggesting it may slip up to six months. The report gave only a 40% confidence in the 2021 launch date, and suggested the aggressive goal may be counterproductive to the program.


Petroleum () is a naturally occurring, yellowish-black liquid found in geological formations beneath the Earth's surface. It is commonly refined into various types of fuels. Components of petroleum are separated using a technique called fractional distillation, i.e. separation of a liquid mixture into fractions differing in boiling point by means of distillation, typically using a fractionating column.

It consists of naturally occurring hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and may contain miscellaneous organic compounds. The name petroleum covers both naturally occurring unprocessed crude oil and petroleum products that are made up of refined crude oil. A fossil fuel, petroleum is formed when large quantities of dead organisms, mostly zooplankton and algae, are buried underneath sedimentary rock and subjected to both intense heat and pressure.

Petroleum has mostly been recovered by oil drilling (natural petroleum springs are rare). Drilling is carried out after studies of structural geology (at the reservoir scale), sedimentary basin analysis, and reservoir characterisation (mainly in terms of the porosity and permeability of geologic reservoir structures) have been completed. It is refined and separated, most easily by distillation, into a large number of consumer products, from gasoline (petrol) and kerosene to asphalt and chemical reagents used to make plastics, pesticides and pharmaceuticals. Petroleum is used in manufacturing a wide variety of materials, and it is estimated that the world consumes about 95 million barrels each day.

The use of petroleum as fuel is controversial due to its impact on global warming and ocean acidification. Fossil fuel phase-out, including petroleum, need to be completed by the end of 21st century to avoid "severe, pervasive, and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems", according to the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Sport utility vehicle

Sport utility vehicle (SUV) is a category of motor vehicles which combine elements of road-going passenger cars with features from off-road vehicles, such as raised ground clearance and four-wheel drive.

There is no commonly agreed definition of an SUV, and usage varies between countries. Some definitions claim that an SUV must be built on a light truck chassis, however broader consider that any vehicle with off-road design features is an SUV. Crossover SUV is defined as an SUV built with a unibody construction (as per passenger cars), however in many cases crossovers are simply referred to as SUVs. In some countries— such as the United States— SUVs have been classified as "light trucks", resulting in more lenient regulations compared to passenger cars.

The predecessors to SUVs date back to military and low-volume models from the late 1930s, and the four-wheel drive station wagons / carryalls that began to be introduced in 1949. The 1984 Jeep Cherokee (XJ) is considered to be the first SUV in the modern style. Most SUVs produced today use unibody contruction (as per passenger cars), however in the past many SUVs used body-on-frame construction.

During the late 1990s and early 2000s, the populary of SUVs greatly increased, often at the expense of the popularity of large sedans and station wagons. More recently, smaller SUVs and crossovers have become increasingly popular. SUVs are currently the world's largest automotive segment and accounted for 36.8% of the world's passenger car market in 2017.

Tesla, Inc.

Tesla, Inc. (formerly Tesla Motors, Inc.) is an American automotive and energy company based in Palo Alto, California. The company specializes in electric car manufacturing and, through its SolarCity subsidiary, solar panel manufacturing. It operates multiple production and assembly plants, notably Gigafactory 1 near Reno, Nevada, and its main vehicle manufacturing facility at Tesla Factory in Fremont, California. As of March 2019, Tesla sells the Model S, Model X, and Model 3 automobiles. It is accepting reservations for the Model Y, Roadster (2020), and Semi vehicles. Tesla also sells Powerwall and Powerpack batteries, solar panels, solar roof tiles, and some related products.

Tesla was founded in July 2003, by engineers Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning, under the name Tesla Motors. The company's name is a tribute to engineer Nikola Tesla. In early Series A funding, Tesla Motors was joined by Elon Musk, J. B. Straubel and Ian Wright, all of whom are retroactively allowed to call themselves co-founders of the company. Musk, who formerly served as chairman and is the current chief executive officer, said that he envisioned Tesla Motors as a technology company and independent automaker, aimed at eventually offering electric cars at prices affordable to the average consumer. Tesla Motors shortened its name to Tesla in February 2017.

After 10 years in the market, Tesla ranked as the world's best selling plug-in passenger car manufacturer in 2018, both as a brand and by automotive group, with 245,240 units delivered and a market share of 12% of the plug-in segment sales. Tesla vehicle sales in the U.S. increased by 280% from 48,000 in 2017 to 182,400 in 2018, and globally were up by 138% from 2017.


Toyota Motor Corporation (Japanese: トヨタ自動車株式会社, Hepburn: Toyota Jidōsha KK, IPA: [toꜜjota], English: ) is a Japanese multinational automotive manufacturer headquartered in Toyota, Aichi, Japan. In 2017, Toyota's corporate structure consisted of 364,445 employees worldwide and, as of September 2018, was the sixth-largest company in the world by revenue. As of 2017, Toyota is the world's second-largest automotive manufacturer. Toyota was the world's first automobile manufacturer to produce more than 10 million vehicles per year which it has done since 2012, when it also reported the production of its 200-millionth vehicle. As of July 2014, Toyota was the largest listed company in Japan by market capitalization (worth more than twice as much as number 2-ranked SoftBank) and by revenue.Toyota is the world's market leader in sales of hybrid electric vehicles, and one of the largest companies to encourage the mass-market adoption of hybrid vehicles across the globe. Toyota is also a market leader in hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. Cumulative global sales of Toyota and Lexus hybrid passenger car models achieved the 10 million milestone in January 2017. Its Prius family is the world's top selling hybrid nameplate with over 6 million units sold worldwide as of January 2017.The company was founded by Kiichiro Toyoda in 1937, as a spinoff from his father's company Toyota Industries to create automobiles. Three years earlier, in 1934, while still a department of Toyota Industries, it created its first product, the Type A engine, and its first passenger car in 1936, the Toyota AA. Toyota Motor Corporation produces vehicles under five brands, including the Toyota brand, Hino, Lexus, Ranz, and Daihatsu. It also holds a 16.66% stake in Subaru Corporation, a 5.9% stake in Isuzu, a 5.5% stake in Mazda, as well as joint-ventures with two in China (GAC Toyota and Sichuan FAW Toyota Motor), one in India (Toyota Kirloskar), one in the Czech Republic (TPCA), along with several "nonautomotive" companies. TMC is part of the Toyota Group, one of the largest conglomerates in Japan.

Toyota is listed on the London Stock Exchange, New York Stock Exchange and Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Traffic collision

A traffic collision, also called a motor vehicle collision (MVC) among other terms, occurs when a vehicle collides with another vehicle, pedestrian, animal, road debris, or other stationary obstruction, such as a tree, pole or building. Traffic collisions often result in injury, death, and property damage.

A number of factors contribute to the risk of collision, including vehicle design, speed of operation, road design, road environment, and driver skill, impairment due to alcohol or drugs, and behavior, notably distracted driving, speeding and street racing. Worldwide, motor vehicle collisions lead to death and disability as well as financial costs to both society and the individuals involved.

In 2013, 54 million people worldwide sustained injuries from traffic collisions. This resulted in 1.4 million deaths in 2013, up from 1.1 million deaths in 1990. About 68,000 of these occurred in children less than five years old. Almost all high-income countries have decreasing death rates, while the majority of low-income countries have increasing death rates due to traffic collisions. Middle-income countries have the highest rate with 20 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, accounting for 80% of all road fatalities with 52% of all vehicles. While the death rate in Africa is the highest (24.1 per 100,000 inhabitants), the lowest rate is to be found in Europe (10.3 per 100,000 inhabitants).

Unmanned aerial vehicle

An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) (or uncrewed aerial vehicle, commonly known as a drone) is an aircraft without a human pilot on board. UAVs are a component of an unmanned aircraft system (UAS); which include a UAV, a ground-based controller, and a system of communications between the two. The flight of UAVs may operate with various degrees of autonomy: either under remote control by a human operator or autonomously by onboard computers.Compared to crewed aircraft, UAVs were originally used for missions too "dull, dirty or dangerous" for humans. While they originated mostly in military applications, their use is rapidly expanding to commercial, scientific, recreational, agricultural, and other applications, such as policing, peacekeeping, and surveillance, product deliveries, aerial photography, smuggling, and drone racing. Civilian UAVs now vastly outnumber military UAVs, with estimates of over a million sold by 2015.

Vehicle registration plate

A vehicle registration plate, also known as a number plate (British English) or a license plate (American English), is a metal or plastic plate attached to a motor vehicle or trailer for official identification purposes. All countries require registration plates for road vehicles such as cars, trucks, and motorcycles. Whether they are required for other vehicles, such as bicycles, boats, or tractors, may vary by jurisdiction. The registration identifier is a numeric or alphanumeric ID that uniquely identifies the vehicle owner within the issuing region's vehicle register. In some countries, the identifier is unique within the entire country, while in others it is unique within a state or province. Whether the identifier is associated with a vehicle or a person also varies by issuing agency. There are also electronic license plates.

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