McLaren looks to rid cars of windscreen wipers

WIPEOUT: A McLaren P1 undergoing testing with its windscreen wiper prominent.
WIPEOUT: A McLaren P1 undergoing testing with its windscreen wiper prominent.

McLaren have revealed they are looking force field-like technology to replace windscreen wipers.

McLaren design director Frank Stephenson told Britain's Sunday Star-Times at the weekend that they were investigating the concept which involves the use of ultrasonic vibrations.

"It took a lot of effort to get this out of a source in the military. I asked why you don't see wipers on some aircraft when they are coming in at very low levels for landing,'' Stephenson said.

"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."

Replacing the wipers and the motors/pumps required to run them would save not only weight but also allowed for increased aerodynamics, the possibility of increased top speeds and the possibility of better fuel economy.

There was no word on how windscreens would handled a build-up of grime.

Wipers have been around for 110 years with the first being operated with a lever inside the car.

Stephenson added McLaren had no plans for production just yet but the concept was being pursued.

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