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Japan car-makers join forces on engine research

Engine bloc: Japan’s major car-makers are teaming up to jointly develop future fuel-saving measures for internal combustion engines.

Joint research on petrol, diesel engines aims to give Japan a tech edge

27 May 2014

JAPAN’S largest car-makers have teamed together to launch a joint 1 billion yen ($A9.8 million) research project to squeeze even more fuel savings out of internal combustion engines.

Suzuki, Daihatsu, Toyota, Nissan, Subaru parent Fuji Heavy Industries, Honda’s research and development arm, Mazda and Mitsubishi will all team up with the Japan Automobile Research Institute to “conduct basic and applied research utilising knowledge and expertise amassed in academia”.

The results of the project, which will run under the Research Association of Automotive Internal Combustion Engines (AICE) banner, will be shared between the car-makers and built into future products.

The AICE project hopes the research will give Japanese car-makers a competitive edge in the global market.

“In an effort to realise the further improvement of the fuel economy of automobiles and the reduction of tailpipe emissions, the participating automakers will work together to identify and present research needs that address issues and challenges facing the automakers in the area of combustion technologies for internal combustion engines and technologies which achieve cleaner tailpipe emissions,” a statement announcing the joint venture’s formation said.

“AICE brings together the knowledge and expertise of industry, academia and the government to strengthen the fundamental technologies of internal combustion engines -- which will remain one of most promising power sources in the future – and contribute to the enduring enhancement of the world-leading industrial strength of Japan,” it said.

An aim of the research program is to develop higher-performance, more fuel-efficient and cleaner internal combustion engines.

“Through research conducted by AICE, we would like to further increase Japan’s global competitiveness in the area of internal combustion engines,” AICE president Keiji Otsu said.

“AICE also will promote collaboration among engineers and the nurturing of younger engineers of the next-generation,” he said.

“Moreover, I hope that the initiatives of AICE will gain praise and support from an increasing number of universities, research institutions, relevant organisations and experts and spread broadly to contribute to the further advancement of industrial technologies in Japan.” According to the AICE’s charter, research will focus on the “common issues and challenges” facing each of the participating car-makers.

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