At the Conference on Lasers and Electro Optics in Baltimore this May, Japanese researchers will announce a new laser system that can replace sparkplugs in internal combustion engines. It's the first laser system small enough to do that. Plus, it's made from ceramics and therefore can be made in large volumes at cheap prices. Using lasers as opposed to sparkplugs could help lessen the amount of nitrogen oxides released into the air and making smog. Plus, they can help with fuel efficiency. They're not actually putting these lasers in cars yet, but they're working with a sparkplug company and a part of the Toyota Group to get things moving forward.