You might assume Tesla would have its hands all on deck, with researchers, engineers and software developers working together to improve the carmaker. Problematic Autopilot feature, but instead, the company is devoting resources to other future features: laser windshield wiper.
We will be the first to admit that the current method of cleaning a vehicle’s windshield while driving is not correct. Assuming that the wiper blades themselves aren’t covered with grime and you haven’t forgotten to refill the wiper fluid, they tend to smear dirt and other debris on the windshield instead of effectively wiping it away. Windshield wipers can do a useful job of blocking out raindrops from a driver’s view of the road ahead, but they’re a technology that’s definitely due for an upgrade, and if Tesla has anything to say about it. If anything, they may one day be replaced.
As vehicles become smarter and more dependent on technologies such as cameras, sensors and even energy-generating photovoltaic panels, whose performance is hampered by a build-up of dirt, there are ways to keep various vehicle surfaces clean. There is even more demand. Don’t indulge in the daily commute through the car wash.
originally filed with United States Patent and Trademark Office On May 10, 2019, but finally approved earlier this week, Tesla’s patent for “pulsed laser cleaning of accumulated debris on glass articles in vehicles and photovoltaic assemblies” seems to be foreseeable as it innovates. The patent describes a system where “debris detection circuitry” can determine whether dirt has built up on glass surfaces that need to be kept as clean as possible for optimum functionality, such as a roadway. cameras, or even the windshield a driver is looking at. . Depending on how much dirt is detected and where it is located, the laser’s intensity and focus are specifically calibrated to direct the beam at the problem area (imagine a can of bird poop on your windshield). patch) so that as it pulses quickly, it has enough intensity to burn away dirt without actually penetrating the surface of the glass and damaging the occupants or sensitive electronics inside.
On one hand, the approach eliminates the complicated mechanical machinery that would cause failure as well as adding an extra electric motor that puts a heavy strain on the EV’s battery. It also removes the wiper blades moving back and forth across the windshield which can often be a distraction for the driver. On the other hand, a laser powerful enough to burn dirt off a window is certainly something to be concerned about. You also shouldn’t be looking directly at the low-power laser diodes used in laser pointers, but the beam intensity would have to increase dramatically for this application.
The patent describes an approach where the laser beam is pulsed quickly so that it “confines the penetration of the laser beam to a depth that is less than the thickness of the glass article” and while it does not harm the vehicle’s occupants. What about others around the vehicle, including other drivers on the road who may be exposed to unwanted reflections of the beam? In a perfect world that would never happen, but in a perfect world self-propelled Tesla also won’t crash into a police cruiser. Self-cleaning laser systems can only be used when the vehicle is safely stopped, or even inside a garage, but then it will be useless for random amounts of time to scatter something on your windshield while you’re on the road . As futuristic as the idea sounds, we’re quite happy to stick with our old school solution for the time being.