McLaren, the British company famous for its supercars and its involvement with Formula One racing, is focusing on fine-tuning the details: windshield wipers, to be exact. The company is reportedly working on a windshield wiper system that would make physical wipers obsolete.
The system is expected to use high-frequency sound waves, similar to ultrasounds used by doctors to scan unborn babies, to create tiny vibrations on the screen that would bounce off rain, debris, and insects. Not only does this improve visibility, but it also eliminates the windshield wiper motor in traditional cars and cuts fuel costs. McLaren would be the first to bring this kind of technology to consumer cars, but the system isn't totally new. Military vehicles like fighter jets have similar windshield wiping technology built in, and as McLaren chief designer Frank Stephenson told The Sunday Times, it's an "electronic system that never fails" and leaves nothing attached to the windshield.
Unfortunately, the McLaren range of sports cars set to feature the system probably won't debut before 2015. So for now we're stuck battling with our creaky windshield wipers, but in the future, cleaning the snow and ice off your windshield could be a completely automated — and easy — hands-off task.