A leaked patent image suggests that Mercedes-Benz is developing a water-spraying system to de-ice tires in the winter.
The system is fairly simple, at least on paper. The water is pumped out of a tank and sent through a heat exchanger that warms it up. It’s then sprayed directly onto the spinning tire through three nozzles integrated into the wheel well. The system improves traction by melting the snow and the ice that build up on tires in the winter.
Interestingly, the water sprayed on the tires is collected as it runs down the car’s rear window, meaning there’s little or no need to manually fill up the tank. The patent explains that the system is designed to spray rainwater, water from a car wash, or even melting snow or ice.
Mercedes also points out the water-spraying tech could be used to cool down tires, according to Motor Authority. However, the system would have to be more complicated because it would need to use thermal imaging cameras to calculate when to spray water and how much of it is needed.
Of course, seeing the system depicted in a patent image doesn’t guarantee that it will one day be available on a production car. Mercedes hasn’t publicly commented on the technology, so only time will tell what the future holds.