It is interesting that while there are many advanced technologies developed for cars, such as in-car connectivity and autonomous driving capabilities, there has yet to be technology that allows vehicles to keep themselves clean—until now. Thanks to Ultra-Ever Dry technology, car washes could be unnecessary in the near future.
Nissan’s Note prototype is called a self-cleaning car, but the hatchback does not actually clean itself. Rather, it keeps itself clean with the Ultra-Ever Dry coating. Developed by Jacksonville, Florida-based UltraTech International, the coating is said to be “super-hydrophobic and oleophobic.” In other words, the finish is water- and oil-repellent.
It is reported that the paint was manipulated at microscopic level to create a protective air barrier between the vehicle and water or oil. As a result, the fluid does not stay on the surface it hits; instead, it slides off seamlessly. The nano-paint technology does away with dirt too, so the car is kept pristine.
Engineers at the Nissan Technical Center Europe tested the innovative technology. To see how effective the dirt-repellent coating is, they took a Note (sold in the United States as the Versa Note) and painted one half of it with the Ultra-Ever Dry coating. As shown in the video that is making the rounds online, the car is then driven through a muddy road where it is sullied as it passed through. The half with the special paint did get dirty but did not stay that way. Unlike the other half without Ultra-Ever Dry, it looked as good as new after the ride.
Nissan may be the first to test a ‘self-cleaning’ car, but others have attempted to keep cars flawless with similar technology in the past. For instance, Nanovere worked on the clear coating called Zyvere 2K which was designed to keep autos low maintenance. Just like Ultra-Ever Dry, it also utilized nanotechnology to diminish scratches on the car’s surface. Then there is the technology that came from Nissan’s Japanese rival Toyota, which created its own scratch-resistant paint and used it on the 2010 Lexus LS.
More recent technologies involve self-healing polymers, which are made to keep cars looking new for longer. Materials that have polymers are found to have the ability to ‘fix’ themselves in a short amount of time. The secret is in the structure of the material and UV light: when the light hits the surface, the originally rigid material melts and fills the surface’s scratches. This means that scratches can immediately disappear and make the surface as smooth—and shiny—as before.
Nissan proves to be a pro at self-cleaning technology. Before it tested the special dirt-repellent paint, it introduced the self-cleaning rearview camera. Also featured on a Note, the technology was developed after engineers realized the importance of keeping the lens clean to ensure safety.
According to Nissan, it does not plan to offer the Ultra-Ever Dry paint finish as a standard feature. However, it may consider making the special coating as an aftermarket option. Regardless of how Nissan will offer it, surely there will be consumers who would want their vehicles dirt-free.
Photo credit: automobilemag.com