Tesla Roadster’s electromagnetic wiper design secures U.S. Patent approval

Tesla’s innovative electromagnetic wiper concept for the next-gen Roadster has been approved by the United States Patent Office, records show.

U.S. Patent Office records show that the “electromagnetic windshield wiper design system” submitted by Tesla on March 5th, 2018, patent number 10,889,267, has been approved. About a year later, on September 5th, 2019, Tesla released the patent and it was approved on January 12th, 2021.

The Tesla patent illustrates a one-piece wiper design that is not typical or equivalent to the “normal” two-piece windshield wiper architecture in any way. Most vehicles use two wipers that work in an arc form from the bottom of the windshield, including all four of Tesla’s current lineup of cars. This gives the driver coverage of the field of vision of the vehicle they are driving, but not every raindrop is removed from the glass surface. Along with some other regions, the top two corners are not affected by the conventional wiper design or range of motion.

However, on its next-gen Roadster, Tesla decided to add something slightly different, which could be the fastest car ever to drive on public roads. Tesla’s patent describes a one-piece wiper device that uses an electromagnetic linear actuator to fully rid the windshield of any rain or moisture instead of the conventional two-wiper blade method. It will start from one side and travel directly to the other side, with one movement cleaning the entire windshield.

The patent states:

“The disclosed electromagnetic wiper system may include a linear actuator that may include a guide rail and an electromagnetic moving block. The guide rail may include a plurality of permanent magnet bars that may be disposed horizontally along a curvature of the windshield of the vehicle. The electromagnetic moving block may act as an electromagnetic train, and may include a plurality of perforations and at least an electromagnetic coil that surrounds the plurality of perforations in the electromagnetic moving block. The linear motion of the electromagnetic moving block through the plurality of permanent magnet bars may be controlled to steer the wiper arm that may be coupled to the electromagnetic moving block, back and forth across the entire length of the windshield to wipe a defined region, for example, the entire transparent area (i.e., near cent percent area) of the windshield. This may result in minimal friction during the linear motion of the electromagnetic moving block.” 

When the wiper blade is not being used, it will be hidden under the car’s hood. This adds to the Roadster’s clean and modern design, free of anything that could take away from its aerodynamically-advantageous design, including side-mirrors.

The United States Patent Office officially granted approval on January 12th, documents show.

“U.S. patent number 10,889,267 [Application Number 16/291,186] was granted by the patent office on 2021-01-12 for electromagnetic windshield wiper system. This patent grant is currently assigned to Tesla, Inc.. The grantee listed for this patent is Tesla, Inc.. Invention is credited to Nicolas Clift, Gonzalo Espinoza Graham, Maithreya Kedambadi Prasanna.”

Credit: United States Patent Office

Tesla CEO Elon Musk gave some updates about the Roadster project earlier this week, which has been delayed several times due to technical changes and battery limitations. During his third appearance on the JRE Podcast, Musk told Joe Rogan that he wants the Roadster to hover and that he is still trying to figure out how to make that happen.

Musk said:

“I want it to hover. I’m trying to figure out how to make this thing hover, without, you know, killing people. I thought, maybe we could make it hover, but not too high. So maybe it could hover, like, a meter above the ground, or something. So, if you plummet, you blow out the suspension, but you’re not going to die. Maybe, I don’t know, six feet. If we put a height limit on it, it will probably be fine.”

Musk also plans to release a SpaceX kit that will offer three tons of thrust for crazy acceleration, regardless of whether the Roadster will hover or not. He also said during the Q4 2020 Earnings Call that production will likely begin next year.

H/t: @meckimac

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