Drivers may soon be able to put away their buckets and cleaning rags after Nissan announced that it has developed a car that can clean itself instantly using a special kind of paint.
Engineers at Nissan's European Technical Center in Bedfordshire, England applied a "super-hydrophobic" and "oleophobic" paint finish called Ultra-Ever Dry, which was developed and patented by UltraTech International, on the new Nissan Note supermini. The ultra-resistant paint can repel water and oils, as well as dirt, dust, mud and grit.
Although Ultra-Ever Dry has been used in other fields, Nissan claims that this is the first application of the special paint on automotive bodywork.
The paint uses nanotechnology to create a thin air shield above the surface of the car that makes rain, road spray, frost, sleet and standing water roll off the car without tainting its surface at all.
"By creating a protective layer of air between the paint and environment, it effectively stops standing water and road spray from creating dirty marks on the car's surface," explains Nissan in a press release.
So far, initial tests conducted on the self-cleaning Note were effective. Nissan engineers used Ultra-Ever Dry to paint one side of the car and regular paint on the other side. A video below shows how the side of the Note coated with Ultra-Ever Dry did not accumulate mud or dirt.
"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," says Nissan chief marketing manager Geraldine Ingham.
"We are committed to addressing everyday problems our customers face and will always consider testing exciting, cutting edge technology like this incredible coating application," she continues.
Nissan says it has no plans of making the special paint job a standard on factory models. It will, however, consider offering the self-cleaning paint as an aftermarket option. The company also promised to continue testing the technology in its European testing center.
This is not the first time Nissan introduced a self-cleaning function. The company has already developed a smart rearview mirror that provides a better back view using a camera piped on the rear windshield. This camera is equipped with its own "wash and dry" function that uses water and air to keep the lens free from dust and dirt, allowing the driver a clear view of what's behind the car at all times.