Controlled Auto Ignition : the future of car engines


By reading this month’s issue of the French magazine Science & Vie, I came across a valuable article on a technology called Controlled Auto Ignition, or CAI.

This enables oil engines to cut the consumption of regular vehicles by 15 percent, which would bring them to the levels of Diesel engines, without their hindrances.

Engineers worked on this for twenty years. The researches are paying as Honda (pictured) and Mercedes will soon release cars with this technology.

Diesel engines use less fuel and thus emit less carbon dioxide, but are emitting more NOx and more particules, which needs to be tackled via filters and so on. On the other side, oil engines consume more but emit less pollution.

Simply put, CAI engines consume less oil as they burn it more efficiently, thus increasing the yield and bringing the advantages of both solution in one single engine.

This success is due to the large improvements of technology and of computers over the past few years.

Mass use of CAI technology (or the similar HCCI, for Homogeneous Combustion Controlled Ignition) would enable car makers to go below the 130 grams of carbon dioxide by kilometer, the limit that oil cars should reach in the European Union by 2012.

Now, let us imagine that the future Honda Civic will have a hybrid motorization combined with CAI… An exciting new prospects that might change a bit the reputation cars have.

To infer this article, without doubt both CAI and HCCI are promised to a bright future and that the research and development of even better technologies are on their way.

And you, what do you think of this ? Does this bring you hope ?

Be sure that I will keep you posted on this issue and many others as news arise, so, stay tuned and don’t hesitate to leave your opinion on this topic and write a comment as I will gladly read you.

To learn out more :

  • Science & Vie, Mars 2008, pages 97 to 102. Moteurs. L’essence aussi sobre que le diesel ! (Fr)

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