How lasers can replace your windscreen wipers

The screeching sound and obstructive nature of windscreen wipers could soon be the thing of the past. This is because Tesla is looking into technology that uses lasers to wipe its car models’ windshields.
High-powered laser beams could be soon defending your vehicle’s windscreen against dirt. Photo: Andrew “FastLizard4” Adams via Flickr

The Independent reports that the electric vehicle manufacturer has filed a patent for a new type of wiper that burns dirt using laser beams. Furthermore, it is also hoping to use the same method to wipe the company’s roof tiles and solar panels.

Why are they needed?

Tesla feels that windscreen wipers are currently ineffective as they aren’t able to cover the surface of the whole glass panel. Additionally, it feels that the water and soap method is unproductive as the drying process wastes valuable time.

It isn’t a surprise to see the Elon Musk-owned company looking to revolutionize this technique. The firm continues to find ways to break manual traditions and replace them with digital or electrical technology.

Tesla Cybertruck
Later releases of the Cybertruck could feature this laser technology. Photo: Tesla

How will they work?

The patent was filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. In the document, Tesla mentions the application of pulsed laser beams as the solution to the problems that it mentions. It says that these beams will detect the debris accumulated over the screen and discard it.

“The control circuitry calibrates a set of parameters associated with the laser beam emitted from the beam optics assembly based on detection of the debris accumulated over the region on the glass article,” the patent application reads.

“[It] controls an exposure level of the laser beam on the debris accumulated based on calibration of the set of parameters associated with the laser beam, wherein the exposure level is controlled based on pulsing the laser beam at a calibrated rate that limits penetration of the laser beam to a depth that is less than a thickness of the glass article, and removes the debris accumulated over the region on the glass article using the laser beam.”

Always room for improvement

This patent document only mentions dealing with debris on the glass, there is no mention of rainfall. Therefore, in its initial form, it doesn’t look like this tool will immediately be used to wipe rain. However, Tesla will no doubt be looking to gradually improve on its automatic wipers.

Model 3
Vehicles such as the Model 3 use rain-sensing windshield wipers. Photo: Tesla

Tesla is set to have an eventful decade ahead with its introduction of new features and game-changing vehicles. Elon Musk has also been busy with his SpaceX program and is set to make major breakthroughs with that.

The Starlink and Starship projects are continuing to gain momentum and by the time the 2020s are in full swing, they will be further revolutionizing space travel just like how Tesla is changing ground travel.

What do you think of the idea to use laser beams to tackle dirt on a car windscreen? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.

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