Arthur Ludwig's design for an ultrasonic windshield washer from his 1963 patent application (Image: US Patent 3171683 A)
Kenro Motoda's surface acoustic wave ultrasonic windshield washer from his 1986 patent application (Image: US Patent 4768256 A)
Will the F1 be among the last of McLaren's cars to have windshield wipers? (Photo: McLaren)
Windshield wipers are life-savers, but also can drive one to distraction with their incessant streaking and chattering. Well, the tyranny of the wipers may soon be over. McLaren Automotive’s chief designer Frank Stephenson told The Sunday Times that the performance motoring company is investigating the use of "ultrasonic force fields" to replace windshield wipers in automobiles. While Stephenson referred to a military source for McLaren's tech, there appears to be very little public information on how such force fields might clean a windshield during a storm, so I'm taking a look at the patent history to see how this might be accomplished.
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