Monday, May 22, 2017

"Magic vision" wipers?

Sometimes car companies come out with stuff which is so bizarre you wonder if any common sense was involved at all. Mercedes are advertising their "Magic Vision" wiper system at the moment, which seems to have been designed by a committee of pedestrians rather than anyone who actually drives a car:

There's a couple of problems here.
The first, obviously, is that they only spray on the down-stroke, meaning the up-stroke will be a skipping, scratching, scraping bounce across a dry windshield.
The second is that there's now 50 nozzles to clog up with calcium instead of just two. The chances of all those sprayers working like they do in the video, in the real world, after a month of use, is zero.
Third, you're being locked into the MB parts chain. You can't go and replace your wiper blades with a better product from your local parts store. And blade/arm mechanisms with built-in sprayers? Yeah those will cost a bomb to replace.
But perhaps the biggest issue I have with this gimmick is that they think that the washer spray interrupts your view of the road, and that it's distracting. The wipers themselves are far more distracting than the washer spray. I hate driving in the rain with wipers going. Instead, I apply RainX to my windshield every couple of months. At any speed much above 20mph, the airflow across the windscreen clears the water off it. At motorway speeds, you barely even see the rain because it's blown up and off the screen so quickly as soon as it hits. On occasion I've been able to do 500 mile trips in the rain without ever once using my wipers.
So Mercedes - if you want to solve the distraction problem - figure out how to permanently treat a windshield with a water repellant what won't wear off. A bonded hydrophobic coating. THEN you'll solve this problem.