McLaren Developing Tech to Make Windshield Wipers Obsolete
Imagine driving a car on a rainy day with no windshield wipers. Sure, water-repelling chemicals help a bit, but without wipers, driving could get tricky. Modern automobiles are a result of over 100 years of evolution, and today’s supercars are unlike anything the father of the automobile would’ve dreamed of.
The 21st-century automobile is a complex system of mechanical and electronic parts, but some old bits, like the windshield wipers, are still a part of each and every car that rolls out of its respective factory. Well, McLaren has now embarked on a quest to completely revolutionize the concept of the windshield wiper.
The company plans to replace the mechanical wiper with an invisible force that would make these parts unnecessary. According to McLaren’s chief designer, Frank Stephenson, McLaren is currently working on a system that will use high-frequency sound waves across the windshield to keep it free of all debris, which is similar to the system used on modern fighter jets today.
Modern supercars do look like road-going fighter jets and use carbon composites and other materials from the aeronautics industry, so why not add more aerospace technology to the mix?
Mechanical wipers cause substantial aerodynamic loses and when it comes to supercars, like the McLaren P1, engineers spend months on end perfecting its aero-performance.So, the industry would definitely benefit if wipers as we know are replaced by sound waves.
What McLaren in planning, is to use an ultrasonic transducer to emit 30 kHz sound waves to help debris just bounce off the windshield. Of course, this a more simplified explanation and we’re sure it’s much more complicated than that.
There is no word on when this technology may be ready.
Click past the jump to read more about the Mclaren P1 hypercar
The P1 uses a hybrid powertrain with Formula 1-derived technologies embedded within. Power is generated by a twin-turbo charged V-8, unlike the BMW-built V12 screamer from the F1. Additionally, the McLaren F1 had an ancient H-pattern gearbox lever sticking out of the floor, and the P1 has a slick, dual-clutch automatic. The McLaren P1 is a whole lot more complicated that what Gordon Murray came up with about two decades ago.
The combined output of the electric motors and the turbocharged V-8 is 900 horsepower, and massive levels of torque.