As General Motors introduces newer and longer touch screens in its vehicles, it also may have found a way to wipe away fingerprints and other oily residue that users leave behind — without the help of a human.
The automaker recently patented a process that would use light from violet micro-LEDs — alongside the red, blue and green light inside LED displays — that is invisible to the eye but can react with a photocatalyst built into the coating of the display. That reaction would erase any smudges on a screen by drawing on water found in the air. What's different about GM's process is that it works in scenarios with low light, including at night or behind tinted glass, according to the patent document, which says the reaction now works best with the ultraviolet light found in sunlight.
GM hasn't said how, when or whether the technology might make its way into a vehicle, or how consumers might benefit from it in the future.
A GM spokesperson said in a statement to Automotive News that the automaker "continues to drive innovation for the benefit of its customers with the invention and commercialization of high-impact technologies. We have nothing to announce today and cannot speculate on future technologies or products."