By MacanyTech Editorials
introduction to automobile

What is Automobile Engineering?

Automobile engineering is also called as Automotive engineering. A branch of mechanical engineering and usually deals with automobiles like buses, trucks, motorcycles etc.

 Automobile engineering can be basically defined as the engineering field which is concerned with vehicle design, manufacturing, development and safety testing.

What is an ‘Automobile’?

When a vehicle can produce power within itself for its propulsion, those vehicles are called as Self-propelled vehicles. A self-propelled vehicle used for transportation of passengers and goods on the ground is called an Automobile.

Aeronautical vehicles like helicopters, planes and marine vehicles like ships, boats are not considered as Automobiles.

History of Automobiles

Most historians say that Nicolas Joseph Cugnot was the constructor of the first true automobile. It was a huge steam powered tricycle.

Karl Benz made A three-wheeler powered by a two-cycle, one-cylinder gasoline engine.

The Flocken electric car was made by the Coburg manufacturer Andreas Flocken in 1888 and it is considered as the first four-wheeled electric car.

The first Automobile Cugnot Steam Trolley
The first Automobile; Cugnot Steam Trolley, Steam Engine powered, 1768
The first gasoline powered Automobile by Karl Benz, 1886,  ( 954cc, 2/3hp
The first gasoline powered Automobile by Karl Benz, 1886, ( 954cc, 2/3hp)
First electric car; Flocken Electrowagen, 1888
First electric car; Flocken Electrowagen, 1888

Components of an automobile

  1. The basic structure
    • Frame, suspension system, axles, wheels and tires
  2. The engine
    • Provides the motive power for all various functions
  3. The transmission
    • Gives four, five or even more ratios of output torque to the input torque.
  4. The auxiliaries
    • Mainly the electrical systems
  5. The controls
    • Steering systems and brakes
  6. The superstructure
    • The body

Classification of Automobiles

Classification of Automobiles
  1. Based on purpose
    • Passenger vehicles (Car, Bus, Motorcycle)
    • Goods vehicles (Lorry, Truck)
  2. Based on capacity
    • Heavy motor vehicles (HMV): Large trucks, Buses
    • Light motor vehicles (LMV): Cars, Jeep
    • Medium vehicles: Small trucks, Minibus
  3. Based on fuel source
    • Petrol engine vehicles
    • Gas engine vehicles
    • Diesel engine vehicles
    • Hydrogen engine vehicles
    • Electric vehicles
    • Hybrid vehicles
    • Steam engine vehicles
  4. Based on the type of transmission
    • Automatic transmission
    • Manual transmission
    • Conventional transmission
    • Semi-Automatic transmission
  5. Based on make
    • Volvo
    • BMW
    • TATA
    • Toyota
    • Honda
  6. With respect to the drive
    • Left-hand drive
    • Right-hand drive
    • Fluid drive
    • Front-wheel drive
    • Rear-wheel drive
    • AWD / 4WD
  7. With respect to the suspension
    • Conventional- Leaf spring
    • Independent- Coil, Torsion bar
  8. With respect to the type of engine
    • Reciprocating – Piston engine
    • Rotary – Wankel engine, gas turbine
  9. With respect to the body and doors
    • Sedan
    • Hatchback
    • Station wagon
    • Convertible
    • Sports utility vehicle
    • Multi-utility vehicle
  10. Based on no. of wheels
    • Two-wheeler
    • Three-wheeler
    • Four
    • Six

Some famous Automakers

MazdaTeslaMaseratiVenturi Volkswagen

This automobile production system requires a huge number of Automobile Engineers, those who know specific aspects in Automobile engineering.

To be a good Automotive engineer, you will need some skills.

Skills of an Automotive Engineer

  • Ability to solve problems
  • Technical knowledge
  • Presentation skills
  • Knowledge about CAD / CAM
  • Leadership
  • Physics, Maths and IT

Responsibilities of Automobile Engineers

  • Safety ensuring (The products and improvements should follow safety regulations)
  • Using software (Uses software to design and simulate)
  • Selecting materials (Engineers have to determine the best material for their vehicle parts and repairing)
  • Report writing (After an aspect of the project is completed, reports must be written)
  • Prototype design (Before the actual vehicle is made, a prototype must be made to present to managers)
  • Repairing and problem detecting (Engineers will have to face some problems during designing and manufacturing process and they should be able to manage them)
  • Managing equipment (Various types of equipment need to be managed during assembling)
  • Develop products (Engineers have to get feedback from customers and develop the product)

Salary of an Automobile engineer

This is often depending on the country, the level of experience and the company.

Who employs Automobile engineers?

  • Vehicle design companies
  • Automakers
  • Fuel companies
  • Research institutions
  • Spare parts companies
  • Power stations

Emerging Trends in Automotive Engineering

Very few parking, lack of fuel, air pollution, sound pollution, too much traffic. Yes, these are not trends that shaping up the industry. But, these types of things are pushing the Automotive industry into modern trends.

World Automotive conference was held on October 17, 2019, with 839 senior representatives from more than 20 countries. Fifty speakers presented their solution for keeping pace with future trends of the sector.

The Digitalization of technology was mainly focused more than ever before even the automobile industry seems mostly mechanical.

Following areas were the other areas which were focused on,

  • Fuel cells
  • Wireless charging for vehicles
  • New energy cars
  • Vehicle connectivity
  • Advanced combustion modes
  • Lightweight materials
  • Engine efficiency
  • Electrification

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