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Mercedes-Benz developing trick tire de-Icing technology

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On: Tue, Jul 5, 2016 at 10:20AM | By: Carl Malek

Mercedes-Benz developing trick tire de-Icing technology

There's nothing like traveling to the confines of the U.S. patent office to get a glimpse at some of the futuristic vehicle technology concepts that various automakers are working on. This time our trip makes a stop at Mercedes-Benz, where they appear to be working on the latest iteration of de-icing technology, according to a recently filed patent.

Unlike the de-icing systems seen on vehicle windshields and back glass, this system would use a water-based technology to de-ice the tires in winter conditions. The system is deceptively simple and consists of a vehicle-mounted tank that stores the water before it is pumped in and through a heat exchanger that warms it. This heated water is then sprayed onto the tires through three nozzles that are integrated into the wheel well. The system would help improve traction by melting the ice and snow that builds up on the tire, which, in turn, would reduce the risk of weather-related accidents due to the lack of traction.

Curiously, the system is designed to collect rainwater that runs down the rear window which virtually eliminates the need to formally refill the tank manually. In addition to rainwater, the system can also collect melting snow or ice, as well as water from a car wash; this versatilitycould eliminate a potential hurdle for production..

Mercedes Benz said, in a interview with Motor Authority that the system is also capable of cooling the tires, which would be a welcome addition to some of the firm's AMG performance models. However, the company did admit that this feature would greatly increase the complexity and the cost of implementing the system, because adding a cooling function would require specially designed thermal cameras to calculate the spray, as well as determine how much water is needed for a particular application.

It's important to remember that just because it appears in a patent doesn't mean that it will ultimately make the transition into production. Mercedes, for its part, has not publicly commented on either the de-icing patent in question or whether it is seriously investigating the technology for a potential production vehicle, but there is a good chance that it could make an appearance on a future concept car to serve as an example of Mercedes' full technological potential.


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