Windshield wipers are a standard feature on cars for obvious reasons but that might not be the case for long if McLaren has their way. They’re currently in the process of developing a system that will keep your windshield clear without the need of those pesky, streak-prone wiper blades.
This is where it all starts to go a little high-tech sci-fi. The system they’re developing is based on one used in fighter jets and involves high frequency sound waves. You know that sound a dentist’s drill makes? It’s sort of like that but without all the unpleasant dental side effects.
The general idea is to have ultrasonic transducers bounce waves across the windshield. These would in turn keep rain, snow and all those bug guts in the summer from sticking.
It’s hard to imagine not needing windshield wipers, but there was a time when drivers had to make do without them or any way of clearing things up to see. The first windshield wipers came into use in 1903 and were patented by an American property developer named Mary Anderson
Her not at all high tech invention was a simple arm with a rubber blade that was operated by the driver using a lever. It was seen as being a possible safety hazard due to the distraction of the blades cutting across your vision, but by 1916 they were pretty much standard in all cars.
McLaren is keeping quiet about the exact details of how their new system will work because they don’t want anyone else getting it figured out first. If they’re successful, then we should see the first cars with this new technology rolling off the line sometime in 2015.
Those cars will, being McLarens, be priced out of most people’s reach at $250,000 plus, but if the technology is successful, then it will eventually find its way to the mass market. Get ready to say goodbye to your wipers.
Check out this video of another great British car, one that still has wipers…
Nicole Wakelin fell in love with cars as a teenager when she got to go for a ride in a Ferrari. It was red and it was fast and that was all that mattered. Game over. She considers things a bit more carefully now, but still has a weakness for fast, beautiful cars. Nicole also writes for NerdApproved and GeekMom.