Most camshafts extend through the top part of the engine block, directly above the crankshaft. On inline engines, a single camshaft controls both the intake and outtake valves. On V-shaped engines, two separate camshafts are used. One controls the valves on one side of the V and the other controls the valves on the opposite side. Some V-shaped engines (like the one in our illustration) will even have two camshafts per cylinder bank. One camshaft controls one side of valves, and the other camshaft controls the other side.
Over the past several years, road transportation has seen some significant advances in what are considered alternative technologies. Energy storage, electric drive systems, and fuel cell technology all seem to be poised to find a significant place in the automotive marketplace. But it would be a mistake to believe that such technologies will completely sweep aside what has come before. Instead, the internal combustion engine will continue to be integral to the transportation of people and goods for the foreseeable future.
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