We in no way claim to be experts on anything on the subject of nanotechnology, so please accept that we're kinda flying blind on this one... but apparently the the study of the controlling of matter on an atomic and molecular scale (thanks, Wikipedia!) is hitting the automobile world in full force. And that's both a good and (potentially) a very bad thing.
First, some examples of the good. A German chemicals company called Lanxess has used nanotechnology to create tires that perform better than traditional rubber in both overall performance and wear. Sounds great, no? So does BMW's diesel particulate filter that is coated with tiny carbon nanotubes, enabling it to remove 99 percent of all particulate matter. And finally, Mercedes-Benz has partnered with PPG to create a nanotech paint with a glass-like outer coating that's three times less likely to scratch.

According to Wards Auto, though, nano particles "can behave in unexpected ways, passing through human skin into the blood or even brain." Again, we're not experts, but the idea of nanoparticles on the brain doesn't sound very enticing. It's also not fully understood how these tiny materials can damage the environment and nature. In deference to these facts, the European Union is reportedly considering how best to define nanoparticles so it can regulate nanotechnology.

The United States is also looking into nanotechnology regulations. Sally Tinkle, senior science advisor to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, said:
The technology is new enough that we are not yet looking at tires or car bumpers that have nano elements and which have reached the end of their lives... But we understand the immediacy of these questions and the need to protect public health and the environment.
[Source: Wards Auto]

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