The new technology will use a camera designed for driver assistance to Autonomous driving.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, known to be skeptical to the fact that manufacturers need to laser scanners (also known as lidar sensors) to develop fully Autonomous vehicles. “Anyone who relies on lidar, is doomed,” said Musk at the Tesla event in April 2019. But a recent patent application suggests that Tesla may have found the application of lasers today.
Tesla applied for a patent for a system that uses lasers to clean glass, including glass in front of the cameras of modern driver assistance systems such as Autopilot. According to the patent, such a system may use a camera for the detection of contamination of the windscreen and side or rear Windows or camera lenses. Laser radiation is simply to burn the remains of dirt on the windshield. The illustration accompanying the patent filing shows a model Tesla S with the lasers mounted on the bonnet, the wing and the center stand to clean the cameras, facing forward and sideways. A patent does not mean that this technology is guaranteed to reach mass production. Initially it is necessary to prove that the technology is reliable, affordable and more perfect in comparison with the existing.
We assume that any laser system will have greater success than liquid for washing the windshield, in the case of insects and other dirt. This patent describes a pulsation laser with a calibrated speed, and coating glass with indium oxide and tin, which ensures that the beam does not pass through the glass and will not damage the materials and components for him. This protection apparently will also be useful for any person within the vehicle. Tesla also mentions about using technology to cleanup contamination of glass and glass-like coatings used on photovoltaic solar panels. All that blocks sunlight from falling on the solar panel, reduces the amount of energy produced by the panel.