The automobile industry has seen terrific change since the first car hit the road back in 1886. In fact, a quick comparison between the first car and today’s cars will tell you there are simply too many alterations to mention. Engines have developed out of all recognition, the bodywork has changed and a car’s interior is dramatically different too. Changes in fuels used, catalytic converters, turbos and injected engines have all been introduced. Big cars, small cars, cadillacs, two seaters, sports’ cars and Formula One cars. It’s an industry reluctant to stand still.

One of the major developments in recent times has been the introduction of the hybrid car – a vehicle that usually has two tanks for fuel – one for petrol and the other for hydrogen/ethanol or an alternative renewable fuel.  Another step in the right direction. Another topic of conversation.

However, the industry was never likely to sit still after that, was it? The latest innovation sees the first ever self cleaning car.

Now, we all believe there are two ways to clean a car. You can either do it yourself or pay someone else to do it. One method requires time, the other requires cash. Both have their draw backs. One expends energy, the other empties your wallet.

So, what if a car could clean itself or at least remain clean throughout the year – whatever the weather? Nissan have come up with the answer – the first self-cleaning car.

Don’t worry, there are no little robotic arms or anything of the sort to clean up your car. In fact, the magic is actually invisible to the naked eye. Still confused? Well, here goes. By applying Ultra-Ever Dry, a special super super-hydrophobic and oleophobic coating developed by UltraTech International, to a car, Nissan was able to repel rain, frost, sleet, spray, and standing water.

How does the coating repel all that grime? The surface of the coating is comprised of nano-scale patterns of geometric shapes with high-points that help to create a low surface energy. This causes droplets of water to touch a very small percentage of the coating. The water in the droplet that does not touch these “high points” is held together by intermolecular cohesive forces of the water molecules. This effectively creates a protective layer of air between the paint and environment, and stops standing water and road spray from creating dirty marks on the car’s surface.”

You can read the full article on the first self cleaning car in The Engineer

To show off its self cleaning car, Nissan took a Note and sprayed half of it with the magic substance, and then drove it through a course of water spray, mud and dirt. The half that wasn’t coated returned back filthy and the half that was coated was nearly pristine. It might be a little way down the production line before we are all enjoying the benefits of the self cleaning car, but Nissan can take a bow.

That’s for sure. After all, who hates those Sunday mornings washing down the bonnet and looking back to see you’ve missed a bit!

Do you have any thoughts on this or questions? How much would you pay to have your car coated? Post your comments below.  

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