A drive shaft is a mechanical component for transmitting torque and rotation, usually used to connect other components of a drive train that cannot be connected directly because of distance or the need to allow for relative movement between them. A driveshaft is a mechanical component that sends torque, or the force of motion, to other car parts. Drive shafts can connect to other components that work together in a drive train, or system used to create and transmit power to a surface, such as a road.
Driveshafts are carriers of torque; they are subject to torsion and shear stress, equivalent to the difference between the input torque and the load. They must therefore be strong enough to bear the stress, while avoiding too much additional weight as that would in turn increase their inertia.