Automotive Smart Glass: Rethinking the Driving
December 5, 2012
by Casey Neeley, email@example.com
As the saying goes, the future is now. Technology once limited
to an episode of "The Jetsons" or space-age science fiction movies
is slowly becoming a part of the automotive industry. Windshields
that are self-healing, -tinting, -heating and -cleaning are entering
the market. But what exactly will this mean for auto glass repair
and replacement (AGRR)?
One thing is certain; auto glass nanotechnology is only going to
get bigger. In a report issued earlier this week by NanoMarkets,
revenues from smart glass and related coatings sold in the automotive
sector are projected to reach $3.5 billion by 2018. Much of the
report's analysis stems from the current sales of dimmable mirrors,
which the report claims at the moment is the only automotive application
using large amounts of smart glass. These smart glass sales net
more than $450 million annually. As the perceived focus for automotive
smart glass suppliers, the report anticipates $1.3 billion in windshield-based
smart glass products by 2018. Some of these expected innovations
include wiperless windshields, smart solar windshields and a self-repairing
So what exactly will the future of driving look like? Standard
Digital refers to the driving experience as "augmented reality
"AR is usually considered to be a live view of the real world,
onto which extra datausually pulled from the internetis
layered or superimposed. It is similar to the view of the world
that Arnold Schwarzenegger had in the Terminator movies," reads
the Standard Digital article.
One of the most notable examples of this type of AR vehicle is
the Mercedes-Benz DICE (Dynamic and Intuitive Control Experience)
concept car which allows users to control a virtual dashboard on
"Capable of recognizing and using a driver's hand movements to
create a custom virtual dashboardcomplete with live feed from
their social networkthe Mercedes-Benz DICE concept represents
our commitment to the kind of innovation that answers and even anticipates
drivers' needs," says Mercedes on its website.
Earlier this year, Mercedes also introduced its "Sky
Magic Control" self-tinting glass, which employs electrochromic
technology, for sunroofs and other auto glass applications.
In 2008, Italian car designer Leonardo Fioravanti introduced a
prototype for a self-cleaning
windshield that doesn't need wipers. If windshields no longer
need wipers, what will happen to wiper manufacturing?
The implications of these various technologies hold significant
impact for the industries associated with the innovations. In an
industry that focuses on glass repair and replacement, the effects
of self-repairing glass could be substantial. Additionally, the
installation of nanotechnology within the windshields breeds a new
series of questions about how this technology will affect installation
techniques and installer training.
Just how will these innovations affect AGRR? Email Casey Neeley
and share your thoughts on how smart glass will impact the industry.
This story is an original story by AGRR™ magazine/glassBYTEs.com™. Subscribe to AGRR™ Magazine.
Subscribe to receive the free e-newsletter.