Rain Sensors and Automatic Wipers Function and Working Principle

Rain sensors and automatic wipers may not be necessities, but they are certainly another form of convenient auto technology. Whenever rain falls on your windshield, the normal reaction is to activate the windshield wipers. Depending on the model vehicle you’re driving, you may need to push a button or lift a handle to turn on the wipers. This may not be too hard to do, but it can certainly become annoying if you live in an area where it rains inconsistently.

Florida, for instance, has temporary showers which last a few minutes and then go away. A few minutes later, the same thing will happen again. To save you the trouble of always having to turn on your wipers whenever it sprinkles or showers out, wouldn’t it be more convenient to let your car handle the windshield wiper activation automatically? Most people would say “yes” to this.

The Function and Principle

So, how do rain sensors and automatic wipers work exactly? Well, all it takes is for a little water to land on your windshield for the rain sensors to detect it. These sensors are mounted near the rearview mirror because it is next to the windshield. As moisture builds on the windshield, the sensors can measure how much of it is there. After a certain amount of moisture is added to the windshield, the sensors transmit this information to a computer. From there, the computer automatically turns on the windshield wipers to clear the moisture off the glass.

As soon as the sensors stop detecting the moisture, the computer deactivates the wipers automatically. Therefore, you don’t need to turn anything on or off repeatedly with your hand. The computer controls this function for you, so you can keep both hands on the steering wheel and focus completely on the road.

Consumers love how much more convenient this technology makes their overall driving experience now. Although it doesn’t exist in every vehicle, more consumers are specifically looking to purchase vehicles which have this rain sensory technology built into them. In another 10 years or so, perhaps all vehicles will have this technology. It may become as common as cruise control is in vehicles. We shall see.

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Additional Features

Rain sensory technology is being advanced all the time. There are currently two features used by the rain sensors and automatic wipers to make this technology work properly. We will go over them below for you now:

1) Wiper Speed Management

You know how windshield wipers can move at different speeds, according to how much rain is falling on your windshield? Well, the automatic wipers are now able to manage their speed without you. For instance, if a little bit of rain falls on the windshield, the wipers will activate and wipe slowly. But if the rain picks up into a heavy shower, then the sensors will detect this extra moisture and automatically make the wipers move faster to clear it away. You won’t ever need to worry about managing the wiper speed on your own.

2) Infrared Light

As water lands on your windshield, there is an infrared light which can detect the quantity of the water on there. It works based on the amount of light which reflects onto the sensor. So, if the windshield is dry, then the sensor will receive more reflected light. This tells the sensor that the windshield is dry and no wiper action is needed. On the other hand, if there is water or moisture on the glass, then the infrared light will scatter everywhere. This tells the sensor that water is present and must be wiped away.

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