I never cease to be amazed at the next big thing intended to make our lives easier. There always seems to be some new thing someone’s thought up, designed specifically for convenience and efficiency. Wearable technology (I’m still saving up for my Google Glass!), hard drives filled with helium for greater storage space capacity, 3D printers, the list goes on and on.
A few might argue that some of the stuff is unnecessary, others might say they don’t know how they got along without it before now; but you can’t deny the modern ingenuity that is on display year in and year out. The human race is coming up with some truly fascinating stuff. Well now there’s another new thing to love that could become the norm of our everyday lives in the coming years: cars that can wash themselves. No, it’s not a flying car just yet, but we’re getting there.
The folks over at Nissan are developing a car paint that repels oil and water, effectively making it the first self-cleaning automobile. Now if you’re anything like me, I love nothing more than grabbing the hose and a bucket of suds and doing the job myself. But I’m one of those guys that thinks a Sunday afternoon should be spent outdoors, and sometimes that afternoon is spent washing the car. I know a lot of you probably think that’s one too many chores around the house and you’d be better off taking it to the local car wash for a roll under the brushes.
Some of you probably find even that to be a hassle what with your busy schedule, and you likely haven’t washed the car in months. That’s not good for the paint and if there’s bird crap anywhere on the car, that stuff will eat away at the top layer before you know it. Birds eat berries, berries have acid in them, the acid eats away at the enamel.
So if you’re not much for washing your car, then this is for you. Engineers at Nissan’s UK technical center have developed a car paint that is both hydrophobic and oleophobic. Which means dirt rolls off the car as if it was never there in the first place. The trick is in the exterior finish called Ultra-Ever Dry, which acts as a sealant wax of sorts, making everything from rain, snow, sleet, oil, standing water, dirt, even bird droppings, roll right off the car and to the ground, resulting in a clean car.
They did some test runs with the new paint on a Nissan Note, in white no less. In the video the company provided, everything they throw at the car simply beads up and rolls away leaving a mostly pristine exterior. This type of technology isn’t entirely new, of course. There’s a hydrophobic spray you can buy from Rust-Oleum that provides the same type of protection to anything you apply it to.
It works in much the same fashion, with liquids beading up on the finish. But no one’s ever thought to apply it to a motor vehicle yet. Nissan says the paint isn’t a standard feature yet, but could be soon. They’re thinking of offering it as an extra option on future vehicle releases, so it’s not available at the moment. I wouldn’t suggest spraying your vehicle with Rust-Oleum either. Just take it to the local car wash for now. Especially if there’s bird poop on the hood.