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(Laura Figi/Austonia)

In the futuristic nature of Tesla, the electric car company is bringing its audacious goal of using laser beams as windshield wipers closer to reality.

The pioneering car company earlier this week obtained a permit from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the laser beam-cleaning technology, which it first applied for more than two years ago, according to electric car site Electrek.

Despite the patent news, we might not see laser beams playing such an active role in the lives of Tesla drivers anytime soon. The company is also reportedly developing new electromagnetic wipers, which are closer to traditional windshield wipers and could see action on the company's Cybertruck model.

CEO Elon Musk always has something up his sleeve from jokes that have become actual products (think flamethrower) to possible future projects we can only guess at. Earlier this summer, it was reported that Tesla had applied for three trademarks (one for the word "Tesla" and two for the different logos) in restaurant services.

But the biggest project coming to fruition in Austin's backyard is Tesla's new $1.1 billion Gigafactory in southeast Travis County that is slated to open later this year. And aside from that, the company also announced further plans to build a major residential community in southeast Austin with housing units incorporating Tesla solar panels, electric vehicle charging stations and other features aimed at sustainability.

The company is coming off of one of its best-ever quarters, reporting an income of more than $1 billion and producing more than 200,000 vehicles despite pandemic-related challenges such as a global semiconductor shortage.

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(Bob Daemmrich)

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