Nissan Unveils the World’s First Self-Cleaning Car [Video]

Nissan develops prototype Note that uses ‘self-cleaning’ paint to protect against rain, sleet and dirt.

Japanese automaker Nissan has developed the world’s first “self-cleaning car” which it predicts will make a carwash a very infrequent place to visit.

A Nissan spokesman said: “The Nissan Note is first car to trial paint which could make car washes obsolete. Washing a car can be a chore – and a costly one at that. In response, Nissan has begun tests on innovative paint technology that repels mud, rain and everyday dirt, meaning drivers may never have to clean their car again.”

It is set to be an option on future models but is being tested in Britain on the new Sunderland-built Nissan Note which went on sale in October priced from  £12,100 to £17,100. No price has yet been set but it is likely to be around $750 – or similar to a metallic paint option.

Nissan says it is the first carmaker to apply the technology, called Ultra-Ever Dry, the super-hydrophobic and oleophobic pain, on automotive bodywork. According to a company press release, “by creating a protective layer of air between the paint and environment, the technology effectively stops standing water and road spray from creating dirty marks on the car’s surface”.

The paint-coating is currently marketed by UltraTech International of Jacksonville, Florida — a company that primarily works in the field of spill containment and clean-up resources. Ultra-Ever Dry will be featured on an upcoming episode of National Geographic’s Showdown of the Unbeatables.

Nissan engineers at the company’s Technical Centre Europe wanted to explore the potential of the coating on automotive paint and created the prototype Note that will be tested in coming months under a variety of conditions.

To this point, the coating has reportedly responded favorably under common conditions such as rain, sleet and frost, among others, and some real-world tests have proven it an effective protector of various objects to which it was applied.

Although there are currently no plans for the protective paint to be applied to models as standard, depending on the real-world effectiveness of the super-hydrophobic coating Nissan may consider the technology as an aftermarket option for the future.

This is not the first time “self-cleaning” technology has been used on the Note; the car already has a “wash and blow dry” function on its rear-view camera, using water and compressed air to automatically keep the lens free of dirt and ensure the car’s safety sensors work in all weather conditions.

Chief marketing manager Geraldine Ingham said: “The Nissan Note has been carefully engineered to take the stress out of customer driving and Nissan’s engineers are constantly thinking of new ways to make families’ lives easier.

“We are committed to addressing everyday problems our customers face and will always consider testing exciting, cutting edge technology like this incredible coating application.”

This isn’t the first time a company has experimented with self-cleaning paint. About six years ago, Nanovere introduced Zyvere 2K, a surface clear coat that used nanotechnology to heal scratches and clean itself. Meanwhile, Toyota launched its own scratch-resistant paint on the 2010 Lexus LS.

More recently, scientists have experimented with self-healing polymers, which break down when exposed to UV light to fill surface imperfections. It’s yet another way technology could help keep cars looking new longer, reports Fox News.

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