McLaren, one of the most esteemed names in automotive history, is said to be applying a bit of science fiction in its future road cars.
According to multiple sources, McLaren is developing a system of “force fields” that will do away with the need for windshield wipers.
Frank Stephenson, the company’s chief designer, has dropped hints at how these so-called “force fields” are supposed to work. Ultrasound generators are to send 30kHz waves across the surface of the windshield, thereby keeping the glass free of water, snow, debris, even those pesky insects that smash into the windshield. Plus you get the side benefit of never ever having those stupid flyers stuck under your car’s wipers ever again!
If this sounds like too much science fiction, think again. Stephenson said the idea is actually one that the military has already deployed. He didn’t care to elaborate further, however.
How soon can this technology be applied to road cars? If McLaren can make such a system work on road cars (and there’s no reason to believe it can’t, since it’s already a functional technology, albeit just on military hardware for now), it may just be a couple of years before other automotive companies license the tech from McLaren and adopt it on their high-end vehicles. Give it a decade or so, and who knows? It may eventually trickle down to even the most prosaic cars on the road.