|The next-generation McLaren P1 might not need windshield wipers if wiperless technology the company is working on becomes reality. (Photo: McLaren)|
But if McLaren and other manufacturers have their way, those days may be coming to an end. No, automotive manufacturers aren’t about to eliminate winter, but they are working on ways to eliminate the windshield wiper.
Mercedes-Benz has already taken one small step, eliminating the windshield spray jets on its SL sports car and integrating the windshield fluid delivery system directly in to the wiper instead. The German company calls the technology its Magic Vision Control System.
McLaren hopes to go a step further and borrow military technology to do away with the wiper altogether, using ultrasonic sound instead to create a type of ultrasonic force field that prevents anything from sticking to the windshield at all.
|2008 Fioravanti Hidra Concept (Photo: Fioravanti)|
The ultrasonic field could be created using something as simple as an ultrasonic transducer in the corner of the windshield, and while initial systems would likely be expensive, if it eventually hits the mass-market the simple, non-moving components could well end up cheaper than mechanical windshield wipers.
|The Fioravanti Hidra Concept uses nano technology to keep the windshield clean. (Photo: Fioravanti)|
All of this could allow the occupants of the car to see clearly out of the windshield without the annoying swish-swish of traditional wipers. Mind you, with autonomous cars likely arriving on our roads in roughly the same time frame, any new wiperless technology might be too late to make actual driving any easier, although the autonomous ride would be that much more enjoyable. Something to think about the next time you’re stuck in bumper-to-bumper stop-and-go traffic with the wipers thumping back and forth.
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