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What is Smart Glass Technology?

January 21, 2020

When it comes to automotive innovations, the most exciting headlines typically focus on futuristic concepts and the “what ifs” of the industry. While these new possibilities have us on the edge of our seat, it’s unlikely that any of us will be riding shotgun in these supercars any time soon. That’s why, this week, we’re taking a look at a new piece of technology all drivers will benefit from in the near future.

Smart Glass is also called intelligent or switchable glass and—while it’s currently only produced for luxury cars—it will soon become common within the general automotive market. With benefits ranging from privacy to safety to entertainment, this is one innovation we are revved up to see.

Adjusting Window Tint

Next time you’re in a parking lot on a sunny day, take a look around at all of the sunshades placed across windshields. These visors are great at protecting the interior of your car, but there’s one big problem: they can only be used when the car is in park. Smart Glass uses switchable films made from SPD, a tint material for providing shade. It blocks 99% of light while maintaining the transparency needed for the driver to safely operate the vehicle. This has a few major benefits. Even with sunglasses and sun visors, it’s very dangerous to drive with the sun in your eyes, and this feature reduces the sun’s blinding effect. It minimizes AC usage by blocking heat on a summer day, so it’ll save you money at the pump and help save the environment.

Keeping Drivers Safe and Passengers Entertained

Taking your eyes off the road to check text messages, fuel levels, speed or even the temperature can be dangerous. As a solve, Smart Glass has the ability to project all of this information and more such as traffic signs and warning notices onto the front windscreen. However, benefits don’t stop at the driver. On level 4 and 5 autonomy smart glass windows, passengers will be able to watch entertainment content such as movies or TV shows on their side of the windscreen. Luxury vehicle makers will experiment with implementing this advance feature into their top of the line vehicles. However, as we know, technology is advancing faster than ever as more and more companies invest in advancing the industry, and this technology can be the new norm before we know it.

Companies Making Advancements

Continental, the German automotive manufacturing company, has always been at the forefront of innovations, and it’s no different for Smart Glass. The supplier recently broke ground on a new factory that will house the implementation of intelligent glass control for vehicles.

Research Frontiers is the inventor of SPD-SmartGlass technology and has licensed over 40 companies across industries such as film, chemical and automotive. They recently unveiled the most popular applications of their technology in cars at CES.

Mercedes-Benz has manufactured 5 models with Smart Glass. The most affordable model—the SLC roadster—has adjustable light-blocking glass. Mercedes use of this technology is the next step in introducing Smart Glass to the general market—some experts believe it will be commonplace within the next three years.

With technology such as Smart Glass advancing every day, it’s easy to see how the automotive space is rapidly moving into the future. It’s our vision to understand the complexities of these new technologies and ensure they are functioning correctly after your vehicle has been repaired. That’s how everyone here at Protech Automotive Solutions will continue to stand behind our purpose of Giving Lives the All Clear.

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