I was driving in my car and it started to rain. My windscreen wipers automatically started to work and I was wondering how it works. So after searching I found a good blog post that explains how it works. Here you see a schematic representation of its internals:

01-rain-sensor-working-principle-reflection-of-infrared-light-electro-luminescent-diodeSo, on the left you have a LED that sends out a beam of light and depending on the amount of light that is received on the right side, the output gives a certain value. When a raindrop lies on top of the windscreen above the sensor, a portion of the LED light beam is deflected to the outside and therefore the receiver receives less light and this difference is visible at the output. This is then used to adjust the speed of the windscreen wipers.

So this can make the live of a driver easier. There can be a lot of possibilities to use this sensor for, like closing the roof of a convertible or turning on the lights during heavy rainfall.

Are there other possibilities to use the sensor for, that you can think of, which can ease the job a driver?





Extra! Extra! Read all about it!:
A new innovation in the automotive industry was recently announced, McLaren are going to use Ultrasonic waves to clear the windscreens of their super- and hypercars.


These Ultrasonic Waves have multiple advantages like, they don’t distract the driver and it is more aerodynamic than the standard windscreen wipers. The Sunday Times was the first to publish article about this topic so if you have an account I would certainly recommend you all to read it.

This new development shows another application of Ultrasonic waves than the distance measurement we do in our Thesis.