Tesla granted patent for laser beam windscreen wipers which promise to burn debris off windows

Elon Musk has also promised the latest version of its self driving software will 'blow minds'.
Elon Musk has also promised the latest version of its self driving software will 'blow minds'. Photo credit: Getty Images

Tesla has faced some challenges lately, with the delay of its electric pick-up truck and the investigation of its Autopilot driver assistance system - but a newly granted patent promises to shine a different kind of light on the Elon Musk-led company.

Gizmodo has reported the electric car manufacturer has been granted a patent for laser windscreen wipers by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, having originally applied for it in 2019

And while Musk is seen by some as a supervillain, it's clear the South African-born billionaire isn't taking a leaf out of Austin Powers' nemesis Dr Evil's dastardly 'sharks with laser beams' plans this time around. 

The patent, entitled "Pulsed Laser Cleaning of Debris Accumulated on Glass Articles in Vehicles and Photovoltaic Assemblies" details how the company is hoping to replace the standard wipers with beams of laser light to burn debris off the windows instead.

Essentially "debris detection circuitry" will be able to identify an area of glass is sufficiently unclean at which point a calibrated, pulsating laser "removes the debris accumulated over the region of the glass article using the beam."

The good news is penetration of the beam will be limited to less than the thickness of the glass, so there's no chance of some extra burning on the inside of the car while all that bird poo gets blasted to smithereens.

Meanwhile CEO Musk has promised version 10 of its full self-driving (FSD) software will blow the minds of drivers.

Website electrek is reporting the latest beta of the software has started rolling out to its early access fleet, which Musk has already been using.

All Teslas come with the latest Autopilot software - the technology currently under investigation by US car safety regulators for regular crashes into stationary emergency vehicles.

FSD is an optional extra, currently costing US$10,000. The software enables vehicles to drive themselves on motorways and around cities - but still requires driver supervision at all times.

Several owners have posted videos to social media of the new software in action, with one reporting it had made navigating roundabouts smoother.

A wider release of the software is expected by the end of September, Musk said.