News, Supercars

May the Force be with You: McLaren to ditch windscreen wipers?


Windscreen wipers, which were incidentally invented by a woman, are a simple automotive solution that has served well for many years. The ingenious device was invented 11 decades ago, and is still used in various vehicles and even aircraft. However, McLaren Automotive thinks windscreen wipers are archaic for today’s times.

McLaren’s chief designer, Frank Stephenson, has hinted a new system is in the works to replace the wipers. It is thought to use ultrasound to send 30kHz waves across the windscreen, keeping it clear of any debris or dirt that gets caught up in the vehicles’ screen. Having said that, a force field in front of the windscreen  that will stop any dirt, snow, rain and even insects from hitting it.

Among the possible benefits apart from not needing to ever replace the windscreen wipers, aesthetics wise, the car might actually look better without wipers (as illustrated in the main photo). Should this technology come to light in a big way, this will put windscreen wiper manufacturers out of business.

Will we someday see windscreen wipers joining the ranks of such items like car antennas, cassette players, and carburetors which have become irrelevant in today’s motoring? (And has anyone noticed that cigarette lighters and ashtrays have all but disappeared in new cars? Good. – Ed)