#257: Sunblind spot

Sunblinds. There’s a piece of technology unchanged since the model T. It’s not that I’d ever advocate change for its own sake but sunblinds just don’t work well.

Turn towards the sun and flip that foam-covered velour screen down. Suddenly your driving world changes from sun-dazzled to ubiquitous, impenetrable, dusky gloom. You then have to drive along peering under the blind and hoping that those indistinct objects moving about outside aren’t on a collision course.


Today’s invention is to replace those unsightly blinds with a smoked-glass disc attached to each windscreen wiper. Each wiper would need to be driven by a big stepper motor because the glass disc would be constantly moved by the wiper in an arc to lie directly between the occupant’s eyes and the sun.

The wiper arms would be constantly repositioning by using data from a clock-compass combination (to tell when the vehicle was turning into the sun). A disc of only around a 10cm in diameter would be big enough to cope with almost all changes in road gradient (it would have to be initially positioned according to the height of each driver). This would mean that only a small section of the visual field would be obscured and driving safety enhanced.

Admittedly, when the wipers are required to drive rain off the screen, this whole approach would cease to work, but you don’t get that much rain on days when the sun is bright enough to impede driving.

One Comment:

  1. The position of the sun relative to the ground is specified by eg an electronic clock/calendar. The orientation of the driver (relative to the ground) needs eg a GPS system and an accurate compass. (or more likely a steering wheel position sensor). This level of complexity probably makes the whole idea infeasible. -Back to those primitive foam shades then, I guess.

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