Cybertruck Will NOT have Windshield Wipers nor Side Rear View Mirrors?!

Cybertruck Will NOT have Windshield Wipers nor Side Rear View Mirrors?!

OK, many on the internet are saying that the Cybbertruck did not have windshield wipers nor rear mirrors because that was an oversight since it was a prototype made in a hurry. However, the Model 3 had windshield wipers at its reveal. The Model Y had windshield wipers at its reveal, too. In an interview with Marques Brownlee (a YouTuber), Elon Musk said, "“Manufacturers are required to have side mirrors [on their cars], but I believe that the owner is not.” Elon is suggesting that the Cybertrucks and Roadsters are going to be sold with owner removable side rear view mirrors. A panoramic rear view will be available via the rear view LCD screen replacement for middle rear view mirror. This will replace the function of the side rear view and central rear view mirrors.

Also, the Cybertruck will feature lasers to zap water off the windshield instead of windshield wipers. That's why it did not have one at the reveal. At high speed, a hydrophobic coating on the glass will wick water away from the glass just like on airplanes. At low speed, a laser will be firing from INSIDE the glass kinda like how a laser fires from inside a fiber optic cable. This will prevent the laser from firing outside in the environment, blinding people. As long as you do not touch the glass while the vehicle is moving, you will not get your hands burned. Also, ALON (the material that the glass is made of, ALON, or aluminum oxy nitride) has a low specific heat, meaning that if you heat it up, the temperature drops quickly after you turn off the heat source, like a heat sink that's on the motherboard of your computer. So, if you stop the car, the laser turns off. If you immediately touch it, it is not hot to the touch and therefore safe to touch.

Here is a video with more details;

P.S. BTW, the video asks you to donate to my best friend who has cancer. Ignore that request. She passed away last night. I don't think I will be making any more YouTube videos after this.... If you accidentally donated after she passed away, funds will go towards funeral expenses, i guess. Or it can be refunded, whatever..... | 8 décembre 2019

Here's a bit more on the patent application:

It sounds a bit out there to me, but would be cool if it could be made to work at a reasonable cost. What little is described doesn't seem to talk at all about clearing rain, only debris. My guess is rain would overload the system, or you'd need such massive lasers that you could melt the glass and more.

On side mirrors, the Model X prototype also had camera mirrors, but regulations in the US do not allow it. A few other countries do allow cameras for mirrors. It could be mirrors for the US and cameras for other countries.

BadgerErickson | 8 décembre 2019

Sorry to hear of her passing. I could see a single uni-blade, but lasers?

rob | 8 décembre 2019

But the lasers are repurposed to bug zappers for glamping.
So we have that going for us.

tomasrey88 | 8 décembre 2019

Why would Tesla spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to millions to patent it if they weren't going to use it on the Cybertruck?

It is patent number: 20190351873
Here is the link to it:

jjs | 8 décembre 2019

Whether this happens or not. This is one of the reasons I keep coming back to this forum. You guys are just amazing at finding interesting info. Thanks

andy.connor.e | 8 décembre 2019

This is like the extra deep lore of a story.

Mark K | 8 décembre 2019

Basically, hi temp incineration, like self-cleaning ovens. The solids sublimate or fly off as ash.

A neat idea - the laser lets you localize the heat just where the bug or bird-dropping is.

No chemical detergent needed, no consumables, all energy-based.

Need to avoid heat-stress / fracture of the glass - but very doable with the right glass.

sbeggs | 9 décembre 2019

Flag forex crap | 9 décembre 2019

@tomasrey88 - Many companies patent stuff that will never see the light of day. Cost is in the $10K to $50K region to patent something. Aside from practical inventions, patents also can be used for horse-trading, selling the patent, or the basis for something in the future with additional patents. The larger the company, the more valuable it is to have a large patent portfolio, even if you elect to let others use it for free as Tesla has done. I looked over many of Tesla's patents a few years ago and it appeared most were not used in any Tesla product, which is similar to other companies I've looked at or been involved with. Many inventions remain trade secrets and are never patented.

rxlawdude | 9 décembre 2019

Free LASIK with every Cybertruck!!!

andy.connor.e | 9 décembre 2019

Hard to appreciate something when you cant focus!

Tesla-David | 9 décembre 2019

Jack Rickard also discusses the Cybertuck and the reasons it will NOT have windshield wipers or side-rear view mirrors in recent utube link

tomasrey88 | 9 décembre 2019 I actually applied for a patent once. Yes, the initial fee is $10 to $50k, HOWEVER, it takes a ton of money to defend a patent from infringers and also to defend it from patent clerks who argue that it might not be patentable. So, the real cost of a patent is really hundreds of thousands of dollars to potentially millions.

rxlawdude: You obviously don't understand how the laser windshield wipers work, so I made a video that explains how it works. It is based on my understanding of the patent application. It is a 2 minute video that is a lot more exciting than reading the patent application. It's actually more reliable and better than mechanical windshield wipers. Here is the video:

rxlawdude | 9 décembre 2019

@tomas, I find people who can't understand sarcasm uninteresting. You totally missed the point of the post.

Do I have to append a :-) every time I'm trying to be wry?

tomasrey88 | 9 décembre 2019

rxlawdude, yeah, you're right. There is no tone of voice in text messages online so I didn't know you were sarcastic. LOL.


jjs | 9 décembre 2019

Darn. I wanted that free LASIK. I'm deeply disappointed. Another broken promise from Tesla. TSLA is surely going to tank. Tank, that reminds me of a Cyber Truck.

Thread back on track.

Tropopause | 9 décembre 2019

I see what you did there, jjs. | 10 décembre 2019

@tomasrey88 - Yep, I've authored a few patents too. And you're right that if you have to defend a patent, it can be very costly. Since no one appears to be using this patent, there is nothing to defend. I'd estimate less than 0.1% of patents have any additional costs beyond the cost to get the patent granted.

I was only refuting your statement "Why would Tesla spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to millions to patent it if they weren't going to use it on the Cybertruck?" I'd be very surprised if they spent more than $25K so far. In the future, who knows. Tesla already grants anyone the free use of their patents - eliminating any expense to defend them.

I still have my doubts as to practicality. Does it work in all weather conditions? Is it reliable? What are the risks? What is the cost to include it? How much power does it consume? Does it cover the entire windshield or is it just for the AP cameras? What happens if the windshield is covered in ice? What if you have a car cover - does it destroy it?

Exterior automotive environments are quite harsh and many good ideas die because of practicality.

Then there is the regulatory hurdle. Currently, the US regulations state:

"S4.1 Windshield wiping system. Each vehicle shall have a power-driven windshield wiping system that meets the requirements of S4.1.1.

S4.1.1 Frequency.

S4.1.1.1 Each windshield wiping system shall have at least two frequencies or speeds.

S4.1.1.2 One frequency or speed shall be at least 45 cycles per minute regardless of engine load and engine speed."

And so on. The law would have to be changed to allow something like this laser system. Unfortunately, our legal system is set up to create laws and is almost impossible to modify. Tesla and other automakers have been trying to get the regulations changed on side mirrors for years. Zero progress so far.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love a system like the laser wipers to be available, but there are a lot of major impediments too.

Mark K | 10 décembre 2019

TeslaTap - it may be a far-out concept, but I’d guess they did a lab test on a glass substrate before they filed.

It’s not too hard to do a crude sanity check of this. The diode IR lasers from DVD writers have been routinely hacked to burn paper at meters away.

As to the regulations you cited, pretty sure that a beam of photons will outpace a mechanical wiper arm.

If Tesla chooses to industrialize it, I think most people would absolutely love invisible wipers.

No moving parts, no replacement blades needed.

And removes bugs - at the speed of light. How cool is that?

CyberTruck will be looked back upon as an exemplar of design that defies convention, to redefine what we expect.

It may seem crazy, but the electronics for this are actually cheaper than big old-fashioned wiper arm hardware.

Just like cameras are now far cheaper than mirror housings.

LaserBlade also uses way less energy. Weighs less too.

Visualize a comparo of an F150, and this machine from the future, in a rainstorm.

One will instantly look antiquated and feeble.

On so many levels, they have a chance to change the entire industry, precipitously. And they are going for it.

Emerging victorious from the production hell of model 3, Elon is now more confident.

He’s asserting his natural audacity.

The world needs it.

I love it.

NKYTA | 11 décembre 2019

"And removes bugs - at the speed of light. How cool is that?"


Tesla-David | 11 décembre 2019

@Mark K, love your enthusiasm and thoughts, and totally agree! +1000

jordanrichard | 11 décembre 2019

Perhaps I missed this in the above comments, but wouldn’t lasers use up a lot of energy?

BTW, a couple fo years ago I read that Mclaren was working on a system whereby they used sound waves to keep water off the windshield.

Mark K | 12 décembre 2019

Lasers use power, but because it’s localized, you reach ignition temperature with relatively low energy per spot.

Wiper motors are low-tech, have lossy gearboxes, and are huge power hogs. The mechanical work to drag the blade through its arc once every couple seconds is awful.

That horrible power consumption is what got them asking if there was something better they could do. | 12 décembre 2019

@jordanrichard - On energy usage, the patent is oriented towards debris like bird poop. In this case. The power need relates mostly to how quick you want the item to be vaporized. With only one item of debris to be vaporized, it shouldn't take much power, especially if you can live with it taking a few seconds.

Now the amount of energy needed to vaporize a heavy rain shower on the entire windshield could be massive. Think of the energy needed to covert a pot of cold water to steam in milliseconds. An electric stovetop may take 10 minutes at 5 kW to do the job. To do it in 20 ms would require 500 x 5 kW = 2.5 MW of power. As the rain is continuous, you'd need that power as long as it is raining!

Then there is all that steam that is created may block the view, so some kind of massive blower would be needed too. Cabin external air would need to be turned off so that you don't risk burning the occupants with steam. You might also require all the windows to be locked up, so no steam is pulled into the cabin.

I'd guess the steam would dissipate fairly quickly, but nearby pedestrians could be scaled by the massive amount of steam coming off the windshield.

Sorry to say, from this view, this doesn't look at all practical. These numbers are more of a back of a napkin estimate as it's been quite a long time since I took any courses that apply. Perhaps someone with a chemistry/physics background can run the numbers in case I'm way off base. | 12 décembre 2019

Since it would have to work in all conditions a wiper does, the worst case is rain at 32 degrees F that you have to vaporize at 212F in 20 ms. Not quite sure how much water falls on the windshield in 20 ms, but perhaps 4 oz? That's a wild guess on my part.

Mark K | 12 décembre 2019

TeslaTap - I don’t think they intend to remove water droplets with laser energy, just the contaminant deposits.

It looks like the water-clearing relies on the unique hydrophobic properties of the glass material and it’s surface finish.

The alumina glass is a relative of synthetic sapphire, but much lower cost.

The very high surface hardness lets them polish the flat glass sheet to an ultra smooth surface.

Ordinary heat-formable glass is much softer, and has micro-pitting in its surface.

Those pits allow water drops to infiltrate and form a van der wals attraction that makes the drops cling.

With the ultra smooth surface, droplets tend to bounce off rather than cling.

Rainex works on a similar principle, by filling the pits, at least temporarily, with polymer.

Treated windows repel water pretty well, but the polymer is soft and wears out in a week or so, requiring re-treating.

The super hard alumina surface can resist pitting and retain the hydrophobic properties for the long term.

So for water, it’s likely some combo of the hydrophobic glass, and airflow to wipe the drops away.

On the freeway, airflow from the vehicle speed may be enough.

At low speed, they’ll likely have a laminar air-jet slit from the base of the windshield.

Mark K | 12 décembre 2019

If you think about it, why would they even bother to invent the spot cleaner, unless they had something else up their sleeve for the water?

Once they had the water drops solved with something else, perhaps like a dyson airblade, then they’d be motivated to backfill with another invention for bugs and bird droppings.

The airblade couldn’t free the sticky stuff, but the laser could.

So I think it’s a composite solution, and that bounds each problem to be more reasonable to engineer. | 13 décembre 2019

@Mark - Using a special glass to shed water makes far more sense, but it would have to work while at a stoplight, so some kind of blower may be needed. Laser zapping raindrops seems impractical. Regulations may also get in the way too, but fun thinking of ideas beyond old-style wipers.

Mark K | 13 décembre 2019

Yep, let’s hope they can work something like the airblade /aluma solution in so they can dodge having to stick on big ugly wiper arms for the first release.

The rakish front hood sweeping up to the huge windshield looks quite beautiful without those legacy contraptions.