'Auto' is self or by oneself, and 'mobile' is to move. An automobile is therefore a machine that moves. 'Engineering' is to design, build, construct machines by the application of science.
Modern automobile engineering incorporates elements of mechanical, electrical, software and safety engineering as employed to the design, manufacture and operation of automobiles. An automobile engineer's main duty is to design, test and develop vehicles and components from concept stage through to the production stage.
Since Nicolas Cugnot's first self-propelled car in 1769, the automobile industry has developed gradually and the present automobiles are very advanced. There was a time, and to some extent it still is, when the automobiles were a major reason for global warming. However, the realization and acceptance of it made engineers think of different methods to make an automobile work. Today, we have cars that consume electricity as fuel, and ideas and concepts of using water and solar energy as fuel.
Automobile engineering comprises of various branches or extensions such as product engineering, electrical engineering, designing, safety engineering, mechanical engineering, etc.
Product engineering is the process of designing, assembling, and developing a device or system such that it be produced as an item for sale through some production manufacturing process.
Electrical engineering is the development of all the electrical aspects of the automobile. Its lights, starter, etc.
Designing is of course to design the automobile, but it also comes under product designing, where one has to design each and every device that constitutes the automobile.
Safety engineering is basically the development of all the safety features in the automobile like the airbags, etc.
Mechanical engineering is the development of the mechanical systems applying the principles of physics and material sciences. It involves the usage of heat and mechanical power for the design, production, and operation of the automobile.
The automobile engineering courses in India cater to train the individuals to design, develop, manufacture, and repair automobiles. The demand for an automobile is ever increasing, and thus the automobile industry is growing. As a result, the demand for new automobile engineers is huge.
A qualified automobile engineer is required to develop (construct & test), fabricate, and observe the functionality of vehicles for street and rails.
To pursue automobile engineering as a career, one first has to have a Bachelor's degree in engineering or technology. Those that have a diploma are required to take the AMIE examination to be at par with the degree holders.
There are prestigious institutes in India that offer quality programs in automobile engineering, like the IIT’s. Admission into such institutes require a lot of hard work and effort, and still only a select group of people are admitted. Of course, there are other institutions that offer the same program, only the standard of teaching varies. In the end, it is up to the individual to decide where he/she has to go. Since automobile engineering is a complex program, meaning, it consists of various other branches as well, it is only available for Master's degree.