The ubiquitous windscreen wiper may soon be a thing of the past thanks to new technology developed by UK supercar manufacturer McLaren.

The Woking-based company has confirmed that they are developing a vibrating windscreen to clear water, based on technology used in military jets, which could see the end of the noisy, smearing rubber blades.

In the process of designing their new Porsche 911-rivalling sports car, which is due to hit showrooms in 2015, McLaren decided to include the new feature that will improve drivers’ visibility in even the worst weather conditions.

It is thought that the new windscreen will use high-frequency sound waves to create tiny vibrations that will deflect any rain, hail or snow.

Not only will the system rebound all substances it comes into contact with, it will get around the issue of frozen windscreen wipers – a problem that has vexed countless motorists as they defrost their cars for the morning commute.

McLaren is keeping exact details of how the system works close to its chest, to ensure that no other company can copy it.

However, the F1 constructor cannot take all the credit for the development as it is already in use on fighter planes.

Chief designer at McLaren, Frank Stephenson, told The Sunday Times that it was a lot of effort to get the information out of the military.

“I was told that it's not a coating on the surface but a high-frequency electronic system that never fails and is constantly active. Nothing will attach to the windscreen,” he said.

McLaren is expected to make the technology available as an option on its new car, which will have a retail price of over £100,000. Once perfected, though, the system could be produced for as little as £10.

Harry Boucher

Picture: Fotolia

Daljinder Nagra


December 16, 2013

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