Tesla Gets Patent to Use Lasers
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Indeed, Tesla always appears to be at the forefront of innovation in car technology. The automaker has popularized EVs, shifting public perception about these automobiles from a failed fad of the past to an essential way forward. Using lasers is Tesla's next move.
Additionally, when it came to autonomy, Tesla led the way on that front as well. In late 2014, the automaker added Hardware 1 to the Model S. In turn, that allowed consumers to experience levels of driver assistance in ways not seen in a mass-produced automobile.
Automaker gets patent to use lasers
Investment in R&D is part of Tesla's priorities even as it continues to expand. The focus, in this case, is identifying smarter and more efficient ways of doing things. Currently, the automaker is focusing on using lasers on windshield wipers.
Interestingly, back in 2019, Tesla CEO Elon Musk was skeptical about the need for laser scanners for developing truly self-driving vehicles. At a Tesla event in April 2019, Musk said, "anyone relying on lidar is doomed."
Two years later, the United States Patent and Trademark Office granted Tesla the patent for their laser windshield wipers. So, why did Tesla get a patent to use lasers? Well, the technology will most likely debut on the Cybertruck. That may be the case since the Cybertruck prototype unveiled in November 2019 did not feature any windshield wipers at all.
"Pulsed laser cleaning of debris accumulated on glass articles in vehicles and photovoltaic assemblies," is the title given to Tesla's recently acquired patent. Note that the automaker filed a patent for the laser-based technology in 2018.
How Tesla plans to use lasers
According to the patent, the laser system can use cameras to detect debris on camera lenses, windshields, or side or rear glass on Tesla vehicles. After that, a laser irradiates the debris, burning it off of the windshield.
The patent describes covering glass with an indium tin oxide coating or pulsing the laser at a calibrated rate. That will prevent the beam from passing through the glass, avoiding damaging components or materials on the other side of the glass.
Additionally, that will presumably protect any human occupants inside an automobile, Autoblog reported. Tesla also intends to use lasers to clean debris from the glass and glass-like coatings used on solar panels.
Is the patent a guarantee for using the technology?
Since Tesla has successfully obtained a patent to use lasers, it does not mean the technology is guaranteed to reach the road. The reason is that the technology needs to prove that it's affordable, reliable, and an improvement over existing technology.
So, whether or not this far-fetched technology will feature on any of Tesla's automobiles, including the production Cybertruck, remains to be seen. It is also worth mentioning Tesla has a patent for electromagnetic wipers.
The system will involve an electromagnetic block moving past magnet bars embedded around the windshield to drag a single blade across the entire expanse of the windscreen, like a giant squeegee.
Of course, electromagnetic wipers will be an easier and more realistic option to develop and produce than what you can expect with laser technology. That means that Tesla vehicles with electromagnetic wipers may be available soon.
Undoubtedly, Tesla vehicles come with several bells and whistles. As much as that is the case, saving on insurance should be a priority in this case. You can get the best rates on insurance by signing up with Jerry.