Since the inception of cars, the technologies behind them have been getting more sophisticated and reliable with each passing year. Automakers are always turning the wheels of innovation in an effort to make cars more reliable, fuel-efficient, and safe. Other innovators such as Tesla have sought to change how we power our cars, all in an effort to improve how we power our car while the same time reducing the amount of emissions our cars produce.
It is thus quite interesting to always keep abreast with the current innovative technologies that the automobile industry is coming up. It gives you a crucial glimpse into future of automobile transportation as well as the crucial understanding of the direction of the car industry. Herein we will explore 3 new advances in automobile technologies that change the face of the industry in the coming years.
#1. Automobile Autonomy – Though the concept of self-driving car is not new, the technology powering the concept is only at its infancy. Therefore, the technology somewhat exist but it has not matured fully for it to be deployed on a massive scale. However, we have glimpses of what to expect in the future in the form of technologies such as lane departure warning that many of the modern vehicles come with. Other technologies such as Tesla’s Cruise Control provide a vivid experience of what the future of automobile transportation will be like.
Aside from Tesla, other corporations leading the charge towards autonomous vehicles include Google’s main company – Alphabet, Microsoft, Uber, automotive giants such as Mercedes, and a myriad of startups in Israel, the US, and Europe.
#2. Turbulent Jet Ignition – When it comes to internal combustion, the technology has remained relatively the same for the past century. However, the Turbulent Jet Ignition (the TJI) as being used in most of the internal combustion units powering formula 1 cars is set to revolutionize the process of combustion. Though the technology has not been adopted into road cars, it is only a matter of time.
The TJI consist of a spark-plug wrapped around a small pre-combustion chamber that is shaped like a nozzle with a series of holes leading to the cylinder. The pre-combustion chamber holds not more than 3% of the air-fuel mixture. The mixture in the pre-combustion chamber is ignited, creating high-pressure plasma jet shoot into the cylinder.
The plasma jet thereafter ignite the entire air-fuel mixture allowing it combust more simultaneously and more rigorously, thus providing more bang which leads to more fuel efficiency. Additionally, since there more points of ignition rather than a single central point as is currently the case; the engine is capable of producing a lean burn which improves the entire combustion process. Finally, engine manufacturers are capable of directing the combustion away from the walls of the cylinder, thus reducing transfer heat from the cylinder and thereafter improving overall cooling of the engine.
#3. Free-Valve Or Camless Piston Engines – Another technology to look forward to is the camless engine vales. The use of cam has been the staple way of controlling the opening and closing of fuel and exhaust valves. Granted that the cam technology has evolved and mature quite well over the past century, it still has its limitations including inability to control the opening and closing of valves in individual cylinders.
However, a solution in the form of free-valve technology is set to change all this in the future. Currently being developed by the major car manufacturers with FreeValve, Koenigsegg’s sister company, the free valve technology is set to improve engine control, fuel efficiency and enable engines to burn a varity of fuels and fuel mixtures.