The Weirdest Car Patents Ever Filed
If you thought “seat-warmers” were out there...just wait.
Have you ever found yourself sitting in traffic on your way to work, listening to the latest episode of a true crime podcast while desperately wishing you could launch a volley of tear gas canisters into the morass of cars and humanity, just to stick it to the guy who cut you off a couple miles back? No? Yeah, we definitely haven’t either. Ever. Definitely.
But someone definitely has had that thought, and others to boot, and even better, they tried to turn those sick fantasies into reality. So, we’re here to point out some of the weirdest, best automotive patents that you will either wish became fully realized, or celebrate the fact that they’re not.
First is Tesla’s patent for laser windshield wipers. Now, before we’re accused of exaggerating the wild idea of lasers for effect, the company’s own patent application explicitly states, “a beam optics assembly that emits a laser beam ,” is used to, “irradiate a region on a glass article of the vehicle.” That’s straight from the Musk’s mouth to your eyes. Not only is this kind of weird, it is also a bit scary. This thing is designed to shine a laser in the exact place where you’re looking – the windshield. How do they plan on it not blinding the driver or passenger? It's not clear, but on the other hand, we have always wanted a lightsaber whooshing back and forth in front of us when we drive, so it might be worth testing out.
Then of course there’s Toyota’s tear gas dispenser patent. Bet you thought we made that one up didn’t ya? Well, it is totally real. The idea started as a system for automatically dispersing air freshener – a similar system already exists in some Mercedes – but then an engineer (who must have missed a lot of therapy sessions) said, “let’s do tear gas!”
The gas is meant to be an anti-theft mechanism that triggers when an “illegitimate start” is detected by the car’s computer. This sounds fine and dandy until you start questioning how the car’s computer determines legitimacy, or remember how sometimes things in cars just plain break down…
And last, but definitely not least, there’s the on-the-go toilet system. We firmly believe that for all the things that different people disagree on in this world, the one thing that can bring us all together is having a toilet in our Hondas. This patent is designed with “ease of excretion” specifically in mind, allowing for you to do number 2 while driving on route 2. The one thing it doesn’t seem to consider is the odor, but perhaps a partnership with Toyota for use of their tear gas dispenser can help? After all, if you’re focusing on the tear gas you’re not focusing on that smell.
Until then, please make sure your lightsaber windshield wipers don’t decapitate you!