Ever wish you could ditch the wipers and just zap all those squashed bugs on your windshield with lasers instead?
Elon Musk obviously did. The self-proclaimed Star Wars geek has gone Jedi on the latest tech he’s developing for Tesla, which may actually turn out much better than the Cybertruck. It was actually Phiroze Dalal, staff scientific and industrial imaging specialist at Tesla, who was the brains behind a new patent application that could have come from a galaxy far, far away. The application was just revealed this week and proposes a (literally) flashy self-cleaning laser upgrade to the already sci-fi cars.
In the application, Dalal describes this technology as “A cleaning system for a vehicle includes a beam optics assembly that emits a laser beam to irradiate a region on a glass article of the vehicle, debris detection circuitry that detects debris accumulated over the region, and control circuitry.”
Just in case you didn’t get that, it basically means that future Telsa models will have lasers where the windshield wipers are normally supposed to be. The debris detection circuitry is what will make sure you see clearly.
As you would probably expect from a car whose proverbial brain thinks for itself enough to drive on its own, this system will autonomously detect and get rid of any junk that hits your windshield, from dust to any flies or mosquitoes that had an unfortunate run-in with the glass.
This system “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 … and removes the debris accumulated over the region on the glass article using the laser beam,” Dalal said in the patent application.
Speaking of a vehicle that drives itself, Telsa believes laser cleanup could also be used to clear up the view for the car’s Autopilot cameras, and it could even go beyond that to auto-clean solar panels.
Whether Star Wars will hit the streets this way is questionable, especially since Tesla is kind of infamous for coming up with patents for tech it never ends up using. It might not be the best idea after the stunts some people pulled to test the Smart Summon feature. Then you have things like the whole Cybertruck disaster, which obviously didn’t stop at least 200,000 people from preordering one.
Whatever happens, may the Force be with Tesla.