RAC Cars News


Nissan to offer self cleaning technology for cars

By raccars Published

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Clean freaks and lazy types alike are bound to be impressed by Nissan's latest venture, the development of self cleaning technology for cars. In the form of a dirt resistant nanopaint, if commercially released the system could see the end of car washes or the good old bucket, sponge and hose method.

The system is currently undergoing testing on a prototype by engineers in Nissan's European Technical Centre in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, before being made available on the British built Nissan Note supermini for around £450. Should the technology prove a success, it will be offered as an option on other models later on.

The nanopaint is designed to repel rain, mud and general dirt through 'super hydrophobic' and 'oleophobic' technology, creating an air barrier between the bodywork and the environment, so that water, oil and dirt particles cannot adhere. This will be the first time self-cleaning cars are made commercially available.

Designed by UltraTech International in Florida, Nissan is the first auto maker to apply the technology, called Ultra Ever Dry to a vehicle, although apparently, it has a number of other applications including shoes, clothing and even building materials. Allegedly, the treatment can be applied to any car paint but does not offer a completely transparent finish on the bodywork, which could be an obstacle to its wider uptake. Similarly, this makes it unsuitable for use on windscreens due to reduced visibility.

Nissan's testing team has confirmed the technology's success at dealing with standing water, rain, road spray, frost and sleet and will continue the testing process over the next few months in various conditions. In the meantime, the company has released a short video showing the technology in use on a Note that has had the nanopaint applied to one side of the other car, while the other side has been left untreated. The Note then traverses muddy puddles and the difference in dirt adherence can be seen between the two sides of the car.

The Note already boasts a range of impressive technology, including a rear view camera with a wash and blow dry feature, using water and compressed air to clean the camera lens and maintain the integrity of the car's safety sensors in any conditions. The Note has been very carefully designed and engineered to offer the most stress free driving and ownership experience that Nissan can deliver.

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