There have been a lot of recent enhancements when it comes to the technology and features available for windshield glass. A good example is rain sensor technology. With rain sensors, the wipers are fully automated and there is no need for the driver to control and manage the windshield wipers. As a matter of fact, rain sensor technology is now becoming standard equipment that comes with many vehicles. Similar to this is the condensation sensors where the defrost system will engage to remove the interior condensation that begins to form on the windshield.
Light sensors and lane departure warning systems are also becoming commonplace on newer vehicles. Drivers can rely on their lights automatically turning on when the ambient light changes. The mirrors (rear view or side mirrors) can automatically adjust to reduce the amount of glare from vehicles approaching from behind. The mirror glass has the ability to change color according to the light conditions. It can increase reflectivity during daylight hours and reduce the glare when the ambient light is lower. There are lane departure warning systems that rely on a built in camera to detect the lines on the roads. If a driver is veering over the line, the system alerts the drivers through a flashing light or audio warning and/or even a vibrating seat sides.
Since the mid 1990’s, heads up display technology is becoming more common in vehicles like Pontiac and some of the other GM products. With this technology, the dashboard gauges tend to float like a hologram in the windshield. More than likely, within the next five to ten years, more windshields will possess this technology. Manufacturers are already in the process of developing this technology to function in the front side glass windows as well.
The future of auto glass has been alluded to during the most recent CES and Auto Shows where automotive companies teamed up with technology companies like Google and Apple to provide realtime feedback on their maps, such as places of importance which displays on the cars glass itself, next level HUD. There will be a day when it will be common for the glass to be totally interactive with the vehicle’s computer and navigation system. Added to this exciting technology is night vision using infrared. This will allow drivers to detect heat, such as animals. You may find that next time you get a windshield replacement in San Antonio or elsewhere on your next vehicle that your glass has more technology than you ever imagined.
All of the technology discussed is already available with the exception of the interactive heads up display in the actual windshield and front side glass. We’ll keep you posted on the latest technology as it hits the market.