Innovators who will change the automotive industry, forever

Innovators who will change the automotive industry, forever

Cars, though they are constantly developing, and many of us classify them into the category of "mature" technologies, there are those who believe that it can be better.

Let's give a brief overview of the ideas that change the automotive industry we know. From the lightest vehicles, through the fastest car, a 1-meter distance between two trucks, evolution of internal combustion, more horsepower, and flying cars.


Kevin Czinger

The initial idea of Divergent 3D was to help to make innovations at a really fast rate. The Divergent manufacturing platform begins with a computer-generated structure that includes basic parameters like the body style, drivetrain, and preexisting components. The next step is using proprietary algorithms that consider the weight, strength, and cost of various materials, including aluminum and composites. After that, the software applies complex physics data and selects the optimal material and shapes to make the modular structure work. The final stage is creating the “connective tissue” (called nodes, that are made using direct sintering) to join the sections together with 3D metal printers. The result of this new manufacturing process is the leanest, smartest, safest version of any modular vehicle structure.

Mate Rimac Concept One

It is no exaggeration if we say that the Rimac Concept_One is improbable since it out-accelerated a Ferrari LaFerrari and Porsche 918 Spyder.

Concept_One has a combined output of 1207 hp from four electric motors, one for each wheel. An interesting fact is that only 8 are being built and all have been sold immediately.

Mate Rimac, CEO, and founder of Rimac Automobili claims that the electric motors he and his team developed are the most power-dense in the world and boast more than 90 percent efficiency. A 90-kWh liquid-cooled battery pack has the potential to deliver one megawatt (1000 kW) of power during acceleration and absorbs up to 400 kilowatts during braking.

Meanwhile, Rimac is working on his next car which promises, even more power and speed.

Josh Swithes

The system developed by a company Peloton Technology allows two trucks to travel a mere 1 - 1,5 meter apart, which translates into fuel savings of 4.5 percent for the leading vehicle and 10 percent for the one behind. This is known as platooning and is based on technology that incorporates adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation, vehicle-to-vehicle communication, and a cloud-based control network.

So about 30 milliseconds after the front truck applies its brakes, we’re applying the brakes in the rear truck. That means we’re applying the brakes in the rear truck before the front truck has physically slowed down. That’s not something you could possibly do with a radar sensor because there’s nothing to detect yet.” says Switkes.

Dan Gurney
Dan Gurney's vision for the evolution of internal combustion is MC4S (Moment-Cancelling 4-Stroke). It is an oversquare, dual-overhead-cam design, which uses two crankshafts that are perpendicularly mounted, geared together, and rotate in opposing directions. Thanks to the counterweight cranks there is no primary vibration. Their inverse spin eliminates rotating forces, so the engine can tilt abruptly (during cornering) without experiencing a gyroscopic moment.
Other than that the proprietary four-valve cylinder head uses hydraulic cam phasing, tapered intake ports, and an exceptionally narrow valve angle in order to optimize airflow for optimal power output. Using computer simulations we can notice airflow velocity improvements of 15 percent over traditional designs.

Christian von Koenigegg
The main idea of Koenigsegg's invention, FreeValve, is not solving the problem but how to mitigate it. FreeValve is a new type of cylinder head that does not use a camshaft to actuate the valves, but the pneumatic actuators open and close each valve individually.

Its potential benefits are:

• by optimizing the air-fuel mixture for each cylinder, the technology can increase both power and efficiency
• the ability to spool a turbo more efficiently and heat a catalytic converter quicker, which results in drastically reduces cold-start emissions
• the camless cylinder head is lighter and more compact than a traditional cylinder head

Expressed in numbers: 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, with a FreeValve cylinder head, makes 45 percent more horsepower and 35 percent fewer emissions.

Carl Dietrich

Carl Dietrich, co-founder of Terrafugia, had the idea to create, with his 4 other classmates, a “streetable aircraft”. Their first prototype, the Transition, was shown at the New York auto show five years ago. It is a revolutionary vehicle that can be flown up to 400 miles, but series of engineering setbacks led the company to miss key development milestones, which resulted in a lack of funding and a significant workforce retraction.

Since the new solutions had to be done, Terrafugia presented the next-generation concept, the TR-X, explained in Dietrich words like “‘flying cars’—short-range vertical takeoff and landing aircraft”.