Ah, yes... the future. Remember that? That magical land of flying cars, wearable chariots and Robot Apocalypse? Well, none of that has come to pass (yet!) but if researchers at Liverpool University have their way (and all indications are that they will) the next Ford you purchase will use a laser beam ignition system instead of spark plugs. According to The Telegraph (UK), lasers can be split into multiple beams and aimed at multiple ignition points, making the new system much more reliable. In addition, the engine's cold weather performance is improved -- and as the article points out, "this is the time when around 80 per cent of the exhaust emissions are produced and the engine is at is least efficient." And if that weren't enough, the laser system produces more stable combustion, using less fuel in the process. Consumers can expect to see this technology hit showrooms "within the next few years."

[Via Auto Blog]