And, potentially, save it from being phased out.

The days of ICE or internal combustion engine-powered cars are numbered as the industry is slowly but steadily moving towards electric vehicles. This is a time consuming and, according to some, an irreversible process, but some companies are still searching for a breakthrough that could make internal combustion engines significantly more efficient. One such solution could come from British company Camcon Automotive.

Its prototype engine uses fully digitally controlled valves that can be operated individually and are not mechanically connected to a crankshaft. Instead, each valve has its own small camshaft controlled by an electric motor. The firm calls this system Intelligent Valve Technology and believes it allows for a significantly more precise control of valve lift and duration.

Digital valve technology

In theory, the IVT tech should ensure the engine has the perfect air and fuel mixture depending on the vehicle operation. For example, at full load, it should adjust to a more aggressive mixture, while during cruise regimes the valve timing should deliver the best possible fuel economy.

The system knows the exact position of the crankshaft at all times and a rotary position sensor ensures the valves open and close at the perfect time depending on what the motor is doing.

Digital valve technology

"What that means is we can give the engine exactly what it wants at low revs, and exactly what it wants at higher revs, and anywhere in between, and you don't have to compromise at all,” Camcon COO, Mark Gostick, commented to New Atlas. “You can change timing, you can change duration, you can change lift, you can even shape the events if you want. You can do double events. You can change the profile of your camshaft between one event and the next. You can go from your idle setting to 100 percent throttle in one revolution. You can do pretty much anything.”

According to a report from earlier this year, Camcon has been testing and tuning its system for thousands of hours and is already seeing an improvement of C02 emissions on the Jaguar Ingenium engine uses to test purposes.

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Gallery: Digital valve technology