I hate to admit this, but I do have other interests than cars. While I am not a programmer or hacker etc, I am quite a follower of technology. In the world of computing, there is a phenomena known as "vapor ware."
According to Wikipedia, otherwise known as the best (disputable) source of all knowledge, Vaporware is a term in the computer industry that describes a product, typically computer hardware or software, that is announced to the general public but is never actually released or officially canceled.....Sounds like a concept the auto industry is intimately familiar with, don’t you think? Don’t you ever wonder what happens to all of those wonderful concept cars and working prototypes?
In some areas certain elements from the concepts are integrated into the design language of the end product, but usually much more is lost than is revealed. With the advent of the internet era, we are beginning to see much more of this technology integrated into the modern automobile. It doesn't stop with wiz bang controls though. Recently, researchers at Michigan State University have built a prototype gasoline engine that requires no transmission, crankshaft, pistons, valves, fuel compression, cooling systems or fluids. This could greatly improve the efficiency of gas-electric hybrid automobiles and potentially decrease auto emissions up to 90 percent when compared with conventional combustion engines.
Not to be a naysayer, but these kinds of claims are almost the very definition of Vaporware. It gets nerds like me excited, but the products never seem to rear their heads in the commercial reality.
I can’t say if this engine is real or not, but I would like to think that it is more than a computer simulation. I would hate to know that so much media coverage has been wasted announcing this potential “breakthrough.” Otherwise, it is just another car-tease, and that is a bit frustrating. I don’t want to tuck this story away on the shelf where I keep my other stories of water powered turbine powered flying cars.
The most common of this would be the OnStar service that GM offers, the Sync system from Ford and the smartphone aps that take the control from 3rd parties and place it in the owners hands.