Who needs sparks when we have freakin' lasers?
While many of us are focused on the future of electric and hybrid vehicles, some are still trying to improve gas-powered combustion engines. And a new discovery could make those engines much more efficient. And it uses lasers.
Laser technology is now at the point where small enough lasers can be designed to fit into a combustion engine, replacing the spark plugs. And not only would the lasers not need to be replaced like spark plugs, but they would also improve the fuel efficiency of the vehicle by creating leaner air/fuel ratios and faster combustion timing. The lasers themselves are just 11 millimeters long.
The team behind the laser ignition system is currently working with both Toyota and an unnamed spark plug company on potential commercial applications.