Tesla’s crazy laser wipers have been released by the US Patent Office

Tesla’s idea for a crazy windshield wiper that would clear debris from the driver’s line of sight using a laser beam has been officially released by the United States Patent Office. Tesla filed the patent application in May 2019, and it was eventually granted in late 2021. Now the US Patent Office has released the patent, making it publicly viewable.

Tesla has long been interested in some pretty crazy and revolutionary ideas for automobiles. Over the years, Tesla has looked at several different designs and ideas for windshield wipers, using anything from a unique wiper system for the next-generation roadster that would use an electromagnetic linear actuator to rid the windshield from moisture, to no wipers at all when it unveiled the Cybertruck in November 2019. The most recent sightings of Tesla’s Cybertruck indicated that the vehicle will have windshield wipers, but Tesla is still revising the design.

With all the crazy ideas Tesla has tossed around for windshield wipers in the past, the automaker’s patent for “pulsed laser cleaning of accumulated debris from glassware in vehicles and photovoltaic assemblies” is among the most interesting. Originally filed in May 2019, Tesla recently had the idea published by the US Patent Office, which means that if the Office does not ultimately grant the patent, the public can still learn from the work and perhaps develop. another system that could be granted.

Tesla describes the patent in the now published filing:

A cleaning system for a vehicle includes a beam optic assembly that emits a laser beam to irradiate a region on a glass article of the vehicle, a debris detection circuit that detects accumulated debris on the region, and a control circuit. The control circuit calibrates a set of parameters associated with the laser beam emitted from the beam optics assembly based on detection of accumulated debris on the region of the glass article, controls an exposure level of the laser beam on the accumulated debris based on the calibration of the set of parameters associated with the laser beam, the exposure level being controlled based on the pulsation of the laser beam at a calibrated frequency which limits the penetration of the laser beam to a depth that is less than a thickness of the glass article and removes accumulated debris from the region of the glass article using the laser beam.

Tesla’s plans for laser wipers are not necessarily confirmed or known, but the patent illustrations appear to display a Model S body. Tesla may be willing to test this type of device on some of its vehicles internally, but the automaker never detailed any specific plans for the idea.

Tesla’s flowchart outlining the process for the patent is relatively straightforward and also shows uses with cleaning debris from solar panels. In five steps, the patent describes the use of the laser cleaning assembly:

  1. Detect debris accumulated on a region of a glass article installed in a vehicle
  2. Calibrate a set of parameters associated with the laser beam emitted by the beam optics assembly, based on the detection of accumulated debris on a region of a glass article
  3. Control the level of exposure of the laser beam on the detected debris accumulated on the glass article based on the calibration of a set of parameters associated with the laser beam
  4. Irradiated region associated with debris detected on glass item by laser beam
  5. Remove detected debris accumulated on the area by laser beam

It also does not appear to be operated by the vehicle itself. Tesla describes the potential for a manual system where the driver could control the laser with a touchscreen, joystick or other medium to communicate with various operational components of the cleaning device.

Although it sounds like a wacky and potentially satirical idea, it wouldn’t be too far from Tesla’s realm of ideas to use a laser to clean a windshield. After all, CEO Elon Musk has said in the past that the Roadster will fly on SpaceX cold gas thrusters, Tesla filed a patent for the Cybertruck to have solar cells on its tonneau for extra EV range, and full other crazy ideas. However, the new laser patent, if eventually used by Tesla, would only reduce the already minimal maintenance costs that owners face, as annual maintenance costs for electric vehicles are extremely low.

Tesla Pulse Cleaning Debris Accumulated on Glass Items in Vehicles and Photovoltaic Assemblies by Joey Klender on Scribd

Tesla’s crazy laser windshield wipers were released by the US Patent Office

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