Sports car designer McLaren recently announced that they intend to do away with windshield wipers in favor of new technology used in fighter jets. Dismissing windshield wipers as an “archaic technology”, McLaren cars utilizing the new gadget could be coming out as early as 2015.
Image courtesy of Basheer Tome via flickrcc
McLaren design chief Frank Stephenson says that he was inspired when he noticed that military jets don’t have windshield wipers for low-level flight, and that he managed to find out why from a source within the military at great effort. The technology Stephenson is referring to is thought to be running 30khz ultrasound waves through the windshield, creating a vibrating “forcefield” that keeps the windshield clear of rain, small debris and even insect residue.
Mainstream integration of the technology could bring multiple benefits to drivers, mostly that a sufficiently low price could result in cost savings from not having to replace wiper blades. There is also the possibility of a small boost in fuel efficiency, since the wiper blades disrupt airflow going over the vehicle and generate resistance.