A recently published patent application from Tesla has revealed that the electric car maker is designing a stealthy, unconventional windshield wiper system that seems particularly tailor-fit for the company’s upcoming halo car: the next-generation Roadster. Apart from looking the part of a futuristic wiper assembly for a futuristic vehicle, Tesla’s patent also allows optimizations in range.
As background, Tesla noted that conventional wiper systems usually utilize electric motors that move one or more wiper blades to clean the windshield of a vehicle. The assembly of such systems involves several mechanical components such as gears and bearings, which, in turn, enable the wiper blades to slide across the windshield.
This sliding motion of the mechanical components creates significant friction during operation. This results in the need for additional power to be supplied by a car’s in-vehicle battery, thereby reducing an electric vehicle’s range. Traditional wiper systems are usually prone to rust and wear as well, which could bog down a wiper assembly and make it inefficient in cleaning a windshield. This could be an issue in regions that experience a lot of rain or snow.
With this in mind, Tesla argues that there is a need to design an innovative windshield wiper system that cleans better, and lasts longer. Such a system was outlined in a recently published patent, plainly titled “Electromagnetic Windshield Wiper System.” Tesla’s design for its electromagnetic windshield wiper system involves the use of a “linear actuator that may include a guide rail and an electromagnetic moving block.” The design is modular, enabling easy installation. The wiper arm and blade could be attached to each other as well, forming a “linear mono wiper in an uncluttered design.” Tesla describes how its windshield wiper assembly works as follows.
“The disclosed electromagnetic wiper system may include a linear actuator that may include a guide rail and an electromagnetic moving block. The guide rail may include a plurality of permanent magnet bars that may be disposed horizontally along a curvature of the windshield of the vehicle. The electromagnetic moving block may act as an electromagnetic train, and may include a plurality of perforations and at least an electromagnetic coil that surrounds the plurality of perforations in the electromagnetic moving block.
“The linear motion of the electromagnetic moving block through the plurality of permanent magnet bars may be controlled to steer the wiper arm that may be coupled to the electromagnetic moving block, back and forth across the entire length of the windshield to wipe a defined region, for example, the entire transparent area (i.e., near cent percent area) of the windshield. This may result in minimal friction during the linear motion of the electromagnetic moving block.”
What is pretty interesting about Tesla’s electromagnetic windshield wiper patent is that the entire mono wiper assembly stows away beneath the hood of a vehicle when not in use. This, apart from giving an electric car windshield a clean, uncluttered look, improves a car’s aerodynamic performance during operations. Tesla notes that these optimizations will be particularly significant at high speeds.
Tesla did not state which of its present or upcoming vehicles will be using the electromagnetic windshield wiper system outlined in the recently published patent. That being said, a look at the benefits of Tesla’s design suggests that the innovative wiper system will be a perfect fit for the next-generation Roadster.
The Roadster’s static models sported a conventional wiper system, after all, and they look almost out of place in such a futuristic vehicle. Considering that the new Roadster is Tesla’s halo car, it makes perfect sense for the company to go all out in its optimizations, windshield wipers included. Couple that with the Roadster’s emphasis on aerodynamics and high-speed driving and this patent makes even more sense for the all-electric supercar.
Tesla’s full discussion on its electromagnetic windshield wiper system could be accessed here.