why can’t cars beat snow?


Over the past few days, Ireland has been under fierce attack from snow and ice. This morning i had to remove chunks of ice from my car’s mudflaps (which i forgot my car had). I also had to remove wipers from the blades of ice attached to my car 😉 that got me thinking…

Had i got in to the car this morning, started it up, turned on the wipers front & rear and drove off, i’d probably have ended up with broken wipers, scraped windscreens and broken motors for the wipers. All due to a bit of snow and ice.

So then i said to myself – how stupid are we when it comes to cars? So much technology, so many users and yet when a bit of snow, rain or ice comes along roads just grind to a halt. Later on in the day then i get stuck behind a group of cars all trying to move up a small hill out of a hotel and on to a main road… wheels spinning and spinning, foot to the floor. I’ve no sympathy for these kind of people unless they’re elderly or learner drivers which none of them were…

Deliberately travelling at about 3km/hr uphill, in the center of the road where the grip is at it’s poorest. That’s a just a case of driver stupidity and technology can’t change that (perhaps special training / advanced driving tests would), but still, all of this got me thinking…

Here’s two things we should have in cars – don’t ask me how to make them a reality, but we should have them 😉

Melt the road with your car

We have police helicopters equipped with thermal imaging cameras to detect heat and detect cars with no lights on trying to evade the cops. We also have F1 teams who can shave seconds off lap times by getting more heat in to tyres. So the bottom line is we know that tyres produce heat and lots of it.

Miles to go ....
Creative Commons License photo credit: RamN

Why then can’t tyres melt snow and ice on the roads? Why not wrap a few coils around them which gather the heat from the tyres or perhaps even the engine? When you think about it, a car generates tonnes of heat once moving for a while, so it’s a huge waste of energy having all this heat above or in the wheels and not being able to use it to melt the road beneath you.

Wouldn’t it be great to push a button and transform your tyres in to four ice melting machines? They’d eliminate the age old problem of getting up and down hills in icy conditions, plus make the roads safer for all.

Intelligent Car Defrosting

I set my alarm for about 7am every morning. Sometimes it’s frosty outside, sometimes it’s not. My car is clever enough to know the temperature outside but only once it’s been started up and i’m in it. Fat lot of good that is while there’s 6 inches of snow on the windows.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Px4u by Team Cu29

Why can’t i set my car to defrost at 7.30am *if* it’s below zero degrees? The car should start itself (locking all the doors too) put the heat on full blast and then switch it off once all windows are clear. It should then message me when the car is nice and toasty inside and oat. We need an app for that.

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