According to a Tesla patent filing published this week by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the electric car maker appears to be developing a technology consisting of laser beams installed on its vehicles for automatically cleaning debris off the windshield of its cars (via Electrek).
Titled “Pulsed Laser Cleaning of Debris Accumulated on Glass Articles in Vehicles and Photovoltaic Assemblies,” the filing details a system that could be useful to automatically remove any debris obstructing the view of the Autopilot cameras around the vehicle.
Tesla’s patent application also notes that the system could be used to automatically clean debris off of solar panels on roofs, or even the car’s windshield:
“A cleaning system for a vehicle includes a beam optics assembly that emits a laser beam to irradiate a region on a glass article of the vehicle, debris detection circuitry that detects debris accumulated over the region, and control circuitry. The control circuitry calibrates a set of parameters associated with the laser beam emitted from the beam optics assembly based on the detection of the debris accumulated over the region on the glass article.”
Tesla’s Staff Scientific and Industrial Imaging Specialist Phiroze Dalal is credited as the inventor of the patent.