Elon Musk and his team are constantly coming up with ideas that will mark a turning point for new vehicle technologies. This time, Tesla patented an innovative idea that could revolutionize the future of windshield wipers by replacing them with laser beams.
It was initially filed before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on May 10, 2019, and was approved last September 7, 2021.
Tesla’s idea is to eliminate rubber windshield wipers and their associated arms, replacing them with laser beams, emitted from a bracket on the hood.
These would be directed at dirt or external elements on the windshield, such as water droplets. The laser beams would be limited in power to avoid exceeding the thickness of the windshield, and in real time, they would vary their power to clear the element blocking the driver’s vision.
The system will have two optical sensors in the center of the hood pointing toward the windshield that will automatically detect any debris buildup on the glass.
As can be read from the patent itself, this debris can include: “snow, water droplets, paint, bird droppings, bug stains, plant peelings, oil spills, dirt and mud”.
Once the debris is found, the program will emit pulsed lasers that, according to Tesla, provide a fast, effective and chemical-free solution for cleaning both vehicle glass and solar panels, although it can also work alongside other conventional windshield wiper systems.
Solution to a Problem
One of the limitations of many advanced driving assistance systems, such as the high beam assistant in cars with adaptive headlights, is that the sensor collecting the information cannot be placed on the highest edge of the windshield, the ideal position to obtain the data, as it has a larger field of view. This is because current structures do not reach all the way to the edge of the glass, and those cameras and sensors need to be clean on the outside and inside.
With Tesla’s laser cleaning program for the windshield and sensors, this inconvenience would be avoided, and the devices could be installed in the most optimum location.
This is intended to improve the operation of the lane keeping assistant, adaptive headlights, collision warning with emergency braking, pedestrian detection, among others.
This new patent would be more effective at evacuating water from the windshield of the new Tesla, but it would also be more efficient, since the traditional ones do not benefit from energy efficiency, while this would save electricity in order to increase the autonomy of the electric cars from Elon Musk’s company.
Written by I Jhonattan González