Mclaren says goodbye to wipers?


From the Fantozzi’s Bianchina car to the world rally, the wiper blades are one of the few components common to every car.
Thinking to do without them? Madness!
The more daring are the rally drivers, capable of striving with lucky systems if necessary: two laces and little else to operate them manually when the electronics abandon them. Perhaps the future holds a more refined technology to be able to do without them.

Mclaren is working about it, where the chief designer of the brand’s automotive division of Working, Frank Stephnson, has admitted to the Sunday Times that the idea of eliminating the wipers from the coming supercar arrived after an exchange of ideas with aeronautical military engineers.

If the jet at “cruise” speed can well do without the wipers because it is the air pressure to clean the cockpit, during the landing phase it is an ultrasound technology that ensures the visibility perfectly without nothing which remains on the glass.

At the moment the idea at McLaren’s is at an embryonic stage and the details of the operation are virtually nil, however, getting hold a bit in the past, there are interesting experiments which confirm that almost anything cannot be invented from scratch.

From the intelligent and providential Mary Anderson, who invented the primordial windshield wiper already in 1903, even though mechanically, the evolution of the device is gradually grew into today’s system. For a supercar, in addition to the element of energy, with the electric absorption of the little motor and the extra weight, there is another important aspect to consider: the aerodynamics.

One or two brushes protruding from the perfect profile studied in the wind tunnel, as faired and optimized, still represent an undesired resistance to the advancement, especially during their operation. The air resistance amplifies the power demanded to the electric motor that activates them.

mclaren wipers

From the aerodynamic point of view there is already who minds the placement on the everyday car, varying the position on the brushes (Seat Leon second generation, ed) and installing them vertically, inside the pillars, and made more profiled with benefits on the noise reduction too. The bold step by Mclaren is even more ambitious and aims to take advantage of the ultrasound generated by two transducers.

The transducers are devices that transmit energy from one point to another, working on an input magnitude (eg strength) which corresponds to a variable output (such as a shift).

The right frequency of ultrasound would ensure the cleaning of the windshield, facilitated by the elliptical wave propagation. But there’s more, because you can also locate precisely the point-to-clean (think about the unwanted “gifts” by birds…).
In another field, similar techniques are used for the cleaning of the sensor from microscopic dust particles, that is the photographic field. In the automotive world the quantities involved and the amount of material to be moved is significantly higher (water, mud, snow, leaves). Finally, there would be the usual regulatory barrier, at least in the United States, where the NHTSA- Authority for Road Safety – imposes for the certification the presence of a traditional windscreen, with two or more speed and activated by a motor.

That is, when the bureaucracy is an obstacle to the technical evolution.

Translated by Federica Izzo

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