California Intellectual Property Blog

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Tesla Files Patent for Lasers on Vehicles

Los Angeles – Tesla has filed a patent application related to mounting lasers on vehicles. The proposed laser on future Tesla products would remove debris from any glass surface on the vehicle.

The idea behind the patent holds a lot of potential value. Vehicles, especially Tesla vehicles, are being equipped with more glass products than in the past. It’s not just the windshield and windows anymore. Modern vehicles have a glass windshield, windows, on cameras, in solar panels, etc. The more technology that is added to cars, the more glass is going to play a role in the design.

Tesla’s proposed patent is suggesting that there are other ways to clean these surfaces such as the windshield beyond the old-fashioned ice scrapper. Not only is scraping ice an annoying and at times a difficult task, the ice scraper could potentially damage the surface of the glass. This could impede the operation of cameras and solar panels. Tesla has not yet answered how far out it may be from actual production of vehicles with lasers.

The letters in the word laser stand for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. A laser is very different from other light sources like a flash light because lasers produce a very narrow beam of light. Light from the sun and a lightbulb create a mixture of wavelengths that we see as white light. Lasers produce only a narrow beam of light in which all of the light waves have the same narrow wavelengths. The synchronized narrow wavelengths allow laser beams to concentrate a lot of energy on a very small area because laser light stays very focused.

Whether or not lasers will be the next big idea for modern car technology is yet to be determined. What we do know is that Tesla has proven, once again, that it is adept at achieving large amounts of free publicity. A patent application for a car mounted laser brings valuable news stories and attention to Tesla. Most major vehicle companies are spending in the billions per year to advertise, promote, and market their products. Meanwhile, Tesla spends less than $100 million per year. Tesla doesn’t need to spend a heap of money on marketing when they can tease new products and inventions that generate significant buzz about the company.

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