Recent innovation could eliminate windshield wipers

A recent innovation has excited some in the car design business — a move that could see the end to windshield wipers.

Apparently, using “nanotechnology,” Italian car designers have come up with a self-clearing windshield.

It uses a special oxide to repel water and miniature nozzles that blast out water and air to get rid of dust and dirt.


The windshield uses super-thin layers of nanoparticles on top of the windscreen. Each layer is a couple atoms thick, meaning they can work simultaneously on water and dust.

And it does appear an attractive idea — after all, even the best windshield wipers don’t reach the whole screen, which means drivers have to put up with a permanent “film” that restricts vision at the extreme edges of the glass area.

Windshield wipers also get frozen to the glass overnight in winter — a common cause of calls for emergency service, when fuses blow as a result of drivers starting the car without first freeing up the wipers.

Whether the new wiper-free technology could cope with Canadian road salt and grime has yet to be seen.

It’s certainly been a while since windscreen wipers were on the drawing board: In 1969, the first intermittent wipers were introduced.

A year later, Swedish car manufacturer Saab introduced headlight wipers.

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