Soon to be obsolete?
Whether you drive a Ferrari or a Fiesta, your car has windshield wipers. And they operate on the same principle as they have for over a hundred years: A piece of rubber on an arm is dragged across glass to squeegee it clean.
British supercar manufacturer McLaren is moving away from that antiquated system, looking to technology for a better solution. As McLaren Chief Designer Frank Stephenson told the UK's Sunday Times, "I asked [a military source] why you don't see wipers on some aircraft on when they are coming in at very low levels for landing... 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."
Following that revelation, Stephenson has cooked something up that will reportedly be on McLaren's 2015 models. Unfortunately he's not saying exactly what it is, only that it will replace wipers altogether. The article speculates that:
It is expected to use high-frequency sound waves similar to those used by dentists for removing plaque from teeth and by doctors for scanning unborn babies. By in effect creating a force field, water, insects, mud and other debris will be repelled from the screen.
The Daily Mail claims that "The system... once perfected could be produced for the mass market for as little as £10." I'm not sure how they know that since no one knows what the system really is, but if they're right and this feature goes mass-market, there are at least two bodies this is really going to piss off: 1.) Bosch, which has the largest windshield wiper factory in the world and produces some 350,000 blades per day; and 2.) Those jerks who canvass parking lots with commercial flyers.