• BMW laser headlights

    BMW's plug-in hybrid i8 sports car is set to be one of the most exciting cars of 2014, but it'll also be one of the most technologically advanced. As well as the use of a new 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbocharged engine, its part-electric drivetrain and unique styling, it'll also be the world's first production car to use laser headlights. Headlights are so much a part of automobiles that it's easy to forget they exist. But along with safety technology and in-car infotainment, they've come a huge distance in the past decade, far more so than they have over the previous century. Automakers are...

  • Cadillac’s World Thorium Fuel Concept, 2009 Chicago Auto Show
    Txchnologist: Thorium lasers: Thoroughly plausible for nuclear cars

    Some proposed technological innovations seem so far out that they are easy to reject out of hand. But sometimes, a new idea has a kernel of plausibility. Such is the case with a new project to develop a thorium laser power generation system that its creator says could provide electricity for the...

  • Laser beams on a car windshield, photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
    Will Igniting Fuel With Lasers Make Spark Plugs Obsolete?

    You may have other plans for Sunday than attending the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics in Baltimore. But if you were to sit in, you would hear a paper by a research team in Japan and Romania that offers a fascinating new avenue for increasing engine efficiency and reducing gas consumption...

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