If you took away all the technology developed through motor sport or the military from regular cars, we'd be surprised if you were left with something driveable.

Between materials, electronics, safety devices and mechanical components, a great deal of modern automotive technology has been developed elsewhere.

That trend is set to continue too, even when it comes to fuel efficiency--and it's the military's tanks that could help passenger vehicles hit 2025's 54.5 mpg mandate.

Bloomberg reports that military researchers at the Tardec facility near Detroit, are working on several technologies that may eventually filter down into regular vehicles. The first of these is a system designed to capture heat from the exhaust system, and turning it into electricity to charge batteries or power devices.

Researchers estimate that this could recapture up to 30 percent of the energy normally wasted through heat loss--plus better heat protection for other components, improving durability.

Small--or large--improvements in several key areas will help to improve the efficiency of vehicles as a whole, and aid carmakers on their way to meeting the stricter fuel economy standards of the next few decades.

Fuel cells are another area being looked into by the military--with a little help from GM. The ultimate aim is to reduce the complexity of vehicles. Complexity increases the risk of unreliability, and while inconvenient in a car, it can be deadly out on the battlefield.

With military vehicles expected to work in unbelievably harsh environments, technology developed and refined on the battlefield will ultimately lead to more reliable, less expensive vehicles for the road


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