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Tesla’s laser windshield wipers bring Elon Musk one step closer to supervillain status

Everything’s cooler with lasers.

elon musk smoking weed
Image: Joe Rogan Experience / YouTube

A new patent granted to Tesla could drastically change how you wipe your windshield clear of debris and water. They want to use laser beams to clear debris off your windshield and other glass areas of the vehicle. Laser beams. Literal beams of light. Let that sink in for a minute.

It’s a feat worthy of any supervillain or gadget-obsessed-support-staff from a spy movie, but it might just turn into a real product. The patent is called “Pulsed laser cleaning of debris accumulated on glass articles in vehicles and photovoltaic assemblies,” and it details exactly how this system would work, and how it would do it safely.

image from a patent granted to tesla for a system to clean the windshield of a vehicle with laser beams
Image: KnowTechie

It won’t just be used for windshields though. Tesla envisions it being used to clear debris off the Autopilot cameras studded around the vehicle. That would be a great safety feature, assuming they can figure out how to safely use the lasers without causing accidents or injury to pedestrians, other drivers, or even airplanes.

The other thing that they want to use the system for? Clearing debris off solar panels. With solar efficiency being drastically reduced by even the tiniest of debris, that could keep Tesla’s solar panels and solar tiles working as intended for longer.

As always, this is just a patent at this stage and there’s no guarantee that Tesla will follow through and put lasers on everything. Tesla is also working on electromagnetic wiper designs, so we’ll have to see which system gets used on future vehicles.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience at KnowTechie, SlashGear and XDA Developers. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere, with particular focus in gadgetry and handheld gaming. Shoot him an email at joe@knowtechie.com.

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