Engineers are increasingly trying to convert more people from “riding dirty”—in a “green” sense—to driving with the earth’s future in mind. After all, the trips you regularly take to and from work in a car with a traditional gas engine could be shortening the planet’s lifespan and thus snatching away future generations’ opportunity to live normally. In the distant future, the world may see three specific technologies that are all aimed at keeping the world spinning just as robustly as your car’s tires do each day.
One up-and-coming engine project involves using lasers to replace spark plugs on engages that use natural gas. Laser ignition provides for a “lean burn,” which greatly decreases atmospheric pollutants in a way that isn’t possible with current spark plugs.
Another rising technology is called the dual-fuel engine, which reduces soot by combining port-injected gas with diesel operation in order to combine gasoline’s oxygenation benefit with compression-ignited diesel engines’ efficient combustion. Soot is considered a chief contributor to modern climate change.
The third engine project that is taking place involves the Advanced Vehicle Experience through Walmart. This project involves replacing combustion engines with turbine generators that behave like range-extending hybrids. Hybrids are known to help the environment by generating fewer greenhouse gas emissions—a chief driver of climate change today—and perhaps reducing the need to drill for oil/gas as much in the future, with drilling accidents having the potential to harm the earth. All three of these technologies likely won’t be deployed in the near future, but they are certainly in a step in the right direction when it comes to being more efficient, cleaner and Earth-friendly on the road than ever before.