Windshield and Sensor Patents May Impact the Industry

Apple says its application for a patent for technology that detects when a windshield is cracked has been approved. According to the patent, the proposed system would monitor the resistance of a conductive film that would be located within a vehicle’s laminated glass and would be able to detect when the windshield has been compromised.

“A system may have windows with one or more structural layers such as layers of glass or rigid plastic,” a portion of the patent reads. “To provide the windows with desired optical properties, additional structures may be incorporated into the window.”

According to Apple, the conductive layer in a window that is used for ohmic heating or other conductive layers in a window, may be monitored by control circuitry in a vehicle. “Control circuitry may, for example, apply a known voltage to a conductive layer while measuring a resulting current,” a portion of the patent reads. By using those types of measurements information on the resistance of the conductive layer and or other electrical properties can be gathered, according to the patent application. Resistance measurements that are abnormal are indicative of a crack in the window.

Autonomous Sensors

Another newly-granted Apple patent focuses on vehicle sensors. The company’s Sensor enclosure and glass panels for sensor enclosures patent highlights different options for having openings in a car body to allow for mounting sensors.

“[These include having] an open front portion that is positioned at the opening formed through the exterior body panel [housing] an optical-grade tempered glass panel,” a portion of the patent reads, which means it’s possible for a section of a car’s chassis to contain various sensors that are mounted behind the glass.

According to Apple, some of its sensors are “not tolerant to signal degradation that may occur when emitted and/or received signals pass through glass, plastic, or other signal transmissive materials.” The company also explains that there is an alternative that allows the sensors to be protected while also allowing signals to pass through. “Optical grades of glass have controlled refraction, dispersion, and can be used in sensor applications to avoid signal degradation,” a portion of the patent reads.

glassBYTEs reached out to Apple for further comments on its approved patents, but had not received a response as of press time.

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1 Response to Windshield and Sensor Patents May Impact the Industry

  1. Why do we need technology in that detects a windshield is cracked or chipped? So they can be big brother or notify you or someone, that your windshield is broken? I notice every crack or chip in my windshield.

    For a company with a few or lots of business vehicles, this would be a huge advantage.

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