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The word car is believed to originate from the Latin word carrus or carrum ("wheeled vehicle"), or the Middle English word carre (meaning "two-wheel cart", from Old North French).
In turn, these originated from the Gaulish word karros (a Gallic chariot).
An abbreviated form, "auto", was formerly a common way to refer to cars in English, but is now considered old-fashioned.
The word is still very common as an adjective in American English, usually in compound formations like "auto industry" and "auto mechanic".
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.
The ability for people to move flexibly from place to place has far-reaching implications for the nature of societies.
The year 1886 is regarded as the birth year of the modern car, when German inventor Karl Benz built his Benz Patent-Motorwagen.Coincidentally, in 1807 the Swiss inventor François 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 Niépces' Pyréolophore 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.The word "automobile" is a classical compound derived from the Ancient Greek word autós (αὐτός), meaning "self", and the Latin word mobilis, meaning "movable".It entered the English language from French, and was first adopted by the Automobile Club of Great Britain in 1897.
Over the decades, additional features and controls have been added to vehicles, making them progressively more complex.