A car is a wheeled, self-powered motor vehicle used for transportation and a product of the automotive industry. The year 1886 is regarded as the year of the modern car. In that year, German inventor Karl Benz built the Benz Patent-Motorwagen, cars did not become widely available until the early 20th century. One of the first cars that was accessible to the masses was the 1908 Model T, an American car manufactured by the Ford Motor Company. Cars were rapidly adopted in the United States of America, where they replaced animal-drawn carriages and carts, cars are equipped with controls used for driving, passenger comfort and safety, and controlling a variety of lights. Over the decades, additional features and controls have been added to vehicles, examples include rear reversing cameras, air conditioning, navigation systems, and in car entertainment. Most cars in use in the 2010s are propelled by a combustion engine. Both fuels cause air pollution and are blamed for contributing to climate change.
Vehicles using alternative fuels such as ethanol flexible-fuel vehicles and natural gas vehicles are gaining popularity in some countries, 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 of car usage include the cost of, acquiring the vehicle, interest payments and auto maintenance, depreciation, driving time, parking fees and insurance. The costs to society of car use include, maintaining roads, land use, road congestion, air pollution, public health, health care, road traffic accidents are the largest cause of injury-related deaths worldwide. The benefits may include transportation, independence. The ability for humans to move flexibly from place to place has far-reaching implications for the nature of societies and it was estimated in 2010 that the number of cars had risen to over 1 billion vehicles, up from the 500 million of 1986. The numbers are increasing rapidly, especially in China, the word car is believed to originate from the Latin word carrus or carrum, or the Middle English word carre.
In turn, these originated from the Gaulish word karros, the Gaulish language was a branch of the Brythoic language which used the word Karr, the Brythonig language evolved into Welsh where Car llusg and car rhyfel still survive. It originally referred to any wheeled vehicle, such as a cart, carriage. Motor car is attested from 1895, and is the formal name for cars in British English. Autocar is a variant that is attested from 1895