A new ultrasound technology developed by McLaren Group, one of Britain’s most advanced automotive company and a leading designer of F1 cars, aims at replacing the good old rubber-stripped blades that have kept rain, snow and sleet off car windshields for nearly a century.
Frank Stephenson, the chief designer at the Woking, U.K.-based company, told the Sunday Times that McLaren is adapting technology pioneered for fighter jets as an alternative to the traditional windshield wiper, which was invented by Mary Anderson in 1903.
The high-frequency sound waves envelop the windshield like a force field, repelling water, insects and anything else that gets in its way. The U.S. Navy has used similar electromagnetic envelopes to prevent barnacles from growing on the hull of their ships.
As well as improving visibility, McLaren said that removing wipers could improve cars fuel economy by eliminating the weight of wiper motors and streamlining the design of the windscreen.