Elon Musk, famous for his incredible ideas, which would be the envy of science fiction writers. Only unlike them, Musk tries to implement his inventions with the help of his companies, which he manages. Some ideas are really implemented, others remain just crazy ideas that are waiting in the wings. Because of them, the detractors call Mask a madman or even a charlatan. His next ideas no longer surprise as before, but only make it interesting to observe how the next project, bordering on fantasy, will end. Recently Tesla was able to obtain a patent for another such idea – the use of lasers to clean vehicles from dirt. First of all, the idea is designed to be used as wipers, which allow you to clean the windshield of a car with laser pulsed beams. Truth, For the first time, this technology was discussed back in 2019, when the company applied for a patent. And now the patent has been approved.
Why Tesla wants to use laser wipers
The patent has the title: “Pulsed laser cleaning from debris accumulated on glass products of vehicles and photovoltaic units.” It describes a device that contains a dirt and debris detection system and an emitter that is capable of trapping particles with pulsed laser beams. At the same time, the power of the lasers is not strong enough to damage the surface of the car or cause any harm.
The patent also provides a diagram of a debris detection system as well as a control diagram. The latter is responsible for the automatic calibration of the basic parameters associated with the operation of the laser beam. It is formed by a special optical installation. The developer explains that the system can be useful for automatically removing any debris that interferes with the view of the autopilot cameras around the vehicle. She is shown as wipers in the patent drawings.
It must be said that the Cybertruck prototype did not have a wiper. Therefore, when Tesla applied for a patent, some suggested that the installation was being created as wipers for this project. However, there is no mention anywhere in the patent that the development will be used to clean glass from raindrops. From this, we can conclude that it will not replace traditional windshield wipers, but will work as an addition to them.
The fact that Tesla is developing new electromagnetic wipers also indicates that the laser installation will not replace conventional mechanical glass cleaners. Although they look very futuristic, they are much more realistic than pulsed laser beams.
Given the name of the patent, Tesla envisions the ability to clean roof debris with a pulsed laser from solar panels. It is logical to assume that the installation can be used for cleaning other roof coatings as well.
When a pulsed laser for cleaning glass appeared in Tesla cars
The very fact of registering a patent does not mean that laser wipers will ever be implemented, at least in production cars. As mentioned above, many patents remain only on paper.
To date, neither lasers nor electromagnetic wipers have been demonstrated on any Tesla model, including prototypes. It is quite possible that the same fate awaits the installation with a pulsed laser. However, the company saw fit to protect the technology with a patent. In favor of the fact that the pulsed laser is a working draft is a fact that the Cybertruck prototype is not equipped with any visible mechanical wipers. This means that the wipers are in the process of being developed. Let me remind you that the attitude towards Cybertruck itself is very ambiguous, even among Tesla fans. It is possible that the pickup will fail, and no innovative windshield wipers will save it.
Interestingly, Elon Musk called Tesla cars “robots” because of their autopilot function. If the project succeeds, it will also be robots with a laser installation. Finally, let me remind you that Tesla is going to release real humanoid robots that should become assistants to people in solving various household and other tasks.