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Lasers & Sources

Cars to be started by lasers instead of spark plugs

Scientists at Liverpool University and engineers at car giants Ford have developed a new ignition system which uses focused beams of laser light to ignite the fuel.

The researchers claim the technology is more reliable and efficient than current spark plug technology and will enable cars to start more easily in cold and damp conditions.

When fuel is injected into the engine, the laser is fired, producing enough heat to ignite the fuel and power the engine. The laser can also provide information for the car on the type of fuel being used and the level of ignition, allowing the car to adjust the quantities of air and fuel automatically to optimise the performance.

Full story from telegraph.co.uk