Windshield Installers Must Adapt as Vehicles Incorporate More Technology
January 2, 2013

by Kaitlan Mitchell,

The shape, size and weight of windshields will be affected as industry technology continues to grow. Industry experts take a thorough look at the latest AGR advancements to see how installers must transition with the change.

Augmented Reality
According to Jeff Olive training manager at Glasspro Inc., augmented reality (AR) can include pedestrian awareness alerts, directions and building identification labels. Auto glass shops need to be able to quickly adapt to the new features AR will entail.

"With the AR technology, installers will need to make sure different attachments are plugged in and wired up," says Brad Voreis, vice president of operations at Glass Doctor®. "The guys aren't used to that. It's more than beads of urethane they're dealing with. Now you're throwing electronics into the mix and most guys aren't really savvy with electronics. Installers need to embrace the new technology or be left behind."

Solar Glazing
While there is a flurry of conversation using this application for the curtainwalls of buildings, the auto industry is also utilizing dynamic-glazing.

As energy concerns rise, dynamic glazing offers a solution to controlling temperatures limiting the amount of air conditioning and in turn lowering a vehicle's fuel consumption, according to industry experts.
Although this windshield evolution will require the glass to be handled with care, experts do not see a need for further installation training.

"This installation has a difficultly degree comparable to installing a stereo system," says John Petraglia, CEO and president of SPD Control Systems Corp. "Further training will not be necessary."

Wiperless Windshields
Leonardo Fioravanti, a Pininfarina automotive designer, has conceptualized the Hidra, a multi purpose coupe with Marvel - integrative windshield that heeds off impending rainfall and tree twigs. In this prototype, Marvel is designed to repel water and dirt without wiper blades, in a document released by Fioravanti and his team. The Hidra's nanotechnology-based windshield has four layers. Athlough the thickness is increasing, industry insiders do not believe the technology needs more surface to function.

"As always, there is a trend to increase the size of the glass to create the feeling that the car is more spacious than it actually is," says Olive. "In the future, as cars continue to be more aerodynamic the same can be said, but I don't foresee this technology requiring more windshield space for successful operation."

Read more about the future of windshields in the next issue of AGRR™ magazine.

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