Invented in 1903 by Mary Anderson, the windshield wiper is certainly an important invention in the world of transportation.
The automotive company McLaren, known for their select and high-tech sports cars, are said to be reworking the way standard windshield wipers will operate.
The design will use sound wave technology from high frequency ultrasound waves. The sound waves would make small vibrations on the windshield that would deflect rain, repel dirt and even bugs. This would improve visibility and keep the windshield clear and cleaner over time.
Using this type of system would mean that there would be no need for a windshield wiper motor. There is also no attachment on the car window. This would increase the aerodynamic properties by reducing the weight.
McLaren is reportedly researching the system’s possibilities, and may be reviewing it in order to make it available in their exclusive sports car line; however their representatives stated that it was just a concept idea at this point. The technology would have to meet vehicle regulations in order to bring the system to the consumer market.
The initial wiper design from Anderson involved manually turning a crank which in turn operated a rubber blade. For anyone whose wiper motor has ever gone out while you were driving in the rain, then you may have used a similar manual technology, resulting in a rain soaked sleeve.
The ultrasound technology actually comes from military vehicle fighter jets, which have a system that operates in the same way.
According to Edmunds a company in Japan, Motoda Electronics, patented a similar system in 1988. However it never went into production as it was deemed impractical on the commercial market. Edmunds rationalizes that the exclusively priced sports cars would be the premier place to launch such an advanced design.
Who knows, maybe someday we will all get a windshield wiper upgrade.
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