Like all car manufacturers, Tesla submits several patent applications for innovations that it develops or is considering developing with a view to integrating them into its future vehicles. Some are pretty cool ideas, some are pretty crazy.
We present five of them to you and it is up to you to judge in which category they belong …
1. Laser beams instead of windshield wipers
Conventional wipers are handy in rain or snow, but less so for debris, dirt, and squashed bugs on the windshield. Tesla has devised a new system to clean the latter… with lasers! The projector would be housed under the hood. When debris is detected, a cleverly calibrated and ultra-precise laser beam would automatically eliminate it, without of course damaging the glass. You speak!
2. A touchpad steering wheel
This innovation is much more realistic. In fact, we are already starting to see steering wheels with haptic (touch) controls from some manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz. The difference here is that Tesla wants to integrate such controls to start the vehicle (instead of using the rod behind the steering wheel) or even adjust the speed of its Autopilot.
3. An occupant age detection system
Yes, there are seat occupant height and weight sensors, but if a child (read: young teen) is the same build as an adult female, the vehicle won’t see the difference. Tesla wants to improve the detection system to predict the age of the passenger according to his posture (position of the legs and arms, etc.) and even his clothing to adjust the deployment of the airbags accordingly.
4. A belt misuse detection system
A seat belt that is improperly used or placed poses a risk in an accident. Again, Tesla wants to implement better sensors that will know if the occupant of the seat is not properly secured. If so, an alert would be triggered.
5. A range indicator based on driving style
Finally, electric vehicles all allow you to know the remaining range depending on the battery, but Tesla also wants to take into account driving habits, the weather, the route programmed in the GPS and traffic in real time. The goal is to give a more accurate idea of the distance that it is still possible to travel before running out of electrons.