- As first reported by autoevolution.com, GM has filed a patent with the USPTO for a self-cleaning touchscreen.
- The patent for self-cleaning performance describes the use of a photocatalytic coating and violet light to remove impurities.
- Neither the coating nor the light is visible to the human eye, so drivers can amaze their passengers with “magic” glass.
General Motors may have good news for drivers with greasy fingers. The automaker is developing a touchscreen that cleans itself, according to a patent GM filed last week with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
The patent for the self-cleaning display was discovered by autoevolution.com. The system described in the patent uses a photocatalytic coating and violet light to remove oil residue, fingerprints and other debris. As anyone with a touchscreen in their car knows all too well, these types of defects can accumulate quickly, resulting in a blotchy surface.
A closer reading of the patent reveals that touchscreens with LED displays emit visible red, green and blue light. The violet light constitutes an invisible fourth LED in the proposed self-cleaning unit. This reacts the photocatalyst in the transparent coating on the touchscreen with moisture in the air to clean the glass surface. GM’s patent states that the process can be triggered manually or automatically depending on the amount of exposure to sunlight or various other conditions.
With touchscreens getting bigger and bigger in GM’s latest models, it makes sense to devise an effortless way to keep their giant glass clear. Currently, all that is needed for the job is a clean cloth and some elbow grease. In the future, it may be as simple as pressing a button.
We think such a feature could be used to wow travelers as well, as neither the photocatalytic coating nor the violet light used to clean the screen is visible to our human eyes. We’ll be cosplaying as our favorite Harry Potter character and calling it “magic” glasses.
Of course, it still remains to be seen whether GM takes its proposed self-cleaning performance from patent to production. Until then, storing some napkins in the glovebox is the easiest way to keep greasy fingerprints away.
Eric Stafford’s addiction to automobiles started before he could even walk, and it has fueled his passion for writing news, reviews, and more. car and driver Since 2016. Growing up, his aspiration was to become a millionaire with a car collection like Jay Leno’s. Apparently, getting rich is harder than social-media influencers say, so he avoided financial success entirely in order to become an automotive journalist and drive new cars for a living. After earning a degree at Central Michigan University and working at a daily newspaper, years of basically spending money on failed project cars and lemon-flavored jalopies finally paid off when car and driver hired him. His garage currently includes a 2010 Acura RDX, a manual ’97 Chevy Camaro Z/28, and a ’90 Honda CRX Si.