As part of its ongoing F1 development, British automaker McLaren plans to create a practical alternative to the traditional windshield wiper blade, Forbes reports.
The idea comes from existing fighter jet windshield-clearing tech, according to Frank Sephenson, chief designer at McLaren.
High-frequency sound waves around the windshield will act as an invisible shield, capable of repelling water, insects and anything else that comes anywhere near it.
This could be the biggest breakthrough in automotive wiper technology since Mary Anderson, an American inventor, patented her own “car-window cleaning device”, the first windshield wiper, in 1903. Anderson’s innovation was, ironically, first ignored by automakers and consumers, but by 1916 was a mandatory feature on all cars.
Besides its use on aircraft, the U.S. Navy has also used similar electromagnetic envelopes to prevent barnacles from attaching to the hulls of ships.