Glass technology just never ceases to improve. We have come a long way since glass was first installed in early automobiles. Nowadays, cars are equipped with all kinds of different types of glass these days fitted with new tech for safety and convenience purposes.
Here, we take a look at some of the main types of car glass technology that you can find in cars today.
Infrared (IR) glass, also called solar glass, is a type of car glass technology typically used in windscreen (often described as infrared-reflective windshields). It is found in cars from manufacturers like BMW, and it looks very similar to standard glass.
IR glass is designed to filter out infrared waves, while allowing the visible light to enter the vehicle. It typically reflects up to half of the IR rays, preventing the car from getting overheated – which can be very useful in Western Australia.
Because the car wouldn’t heat up as much in the sun, you wouldn’t have to use your air-con as much, helping to save on fuel in the long-term. As such, infrared-reflective windscreens can be a very good investment.
Heated glass is one of the most common types of car glass technology found in cars, and it has been around in some form for decades.
It typically consists of tungsten wires being installed within the glass and heated by an electric current. These wires are usually hidden at the base of the windscreen. However, they are also displayed as a grid in the rear window. Sometimes no wires are used, and the windscreen uses an electrically conductive coating that heats up and has the same effect.
Heated glass is used to help melt ice and snow as well as getting rid of fog on the windows. This helps to increase visibility, and there is less need to run air-con or heaters for defogging, helping to save energy and gas.
ADAS stands for Advanced Driver Assistance System, and it is the name given to a collection of systems that work together to improve safety in vehicles.
It comprises various safety systems including automatic braking systems (ABS), adaptive cruise control, hands-free dialling, blind-spot monitors, lane-departure warning systems and more.
These systems are often integrated into the windscreen in order to work properly. As such, if your windscreen becomes damaged, it’s important to check whether any ADAS systems have been affected and to get it fixed if needed.
You can read our more detailed guide to ADAS technology here.
Head-Up Displays (HUDs)
A heads-up display (HUD) is where images are projected onto the windscreen so the driver can keep his or her eyes on the road.
It is not part of the actual glass itself, but an additional feature, and it can be a good way to reduce distractions.
It was first introduced by General Motors in the 1980s, but other manufacturers like Toyota and Chevrolet have introduced their own versions since.
The images are projected as a transparent display that takes the same information from the dashboard and projects it onto the windscreen.
It is sometimes offered as an additional security option in cars. However, you might even be able to use a smartphone app using the GPS in the phone to display the information.
Many vehicles have automatic headlights these days, which turn on when it gets dark so you don’t forget to turn them on yourself. But how do these work?
The answer is in the form of a light sensor that is applied to the windscreen to detect the amount of light outside. It is often mounted behind the rear view mirror. While relatively simple, these sensors can be incredibly useful and lead to a safer drive should you forget to turn the lights on. The system often turns the lights off as well to save the battery.
Similar to the light sensors, rain sensors are installed on the windscreen and are used to detect rain, so the wipers begin automatically.
They work by detecting the amount of light that is reflected back, which tells them how much water is present. They then use this information to turn on and adjust the speed of the windscreen wipers accordingly.
This means there is less for you to do, reducing distractions and helping you to concentrate on your driving.
Shaded glass is a simple car glass technology that has been used for decades. If you are constantly lowering the sun visor to prevent the sun from getting into your eyes, this can help.
It consists of a strip of shade or a visor tint that is attached to the windscreen. It’s very easy to see as a strip of dark colour, often blue or green, and it protects your eyes from the sun’s glare without causing any distraction.
Night vision makes use of another sensor and helps you to become aware of things outside of your headlights’ reach, like animals and vehicles. It is becoming more common on newer vehicles, and major manufacturers like VW and Audi are now introducing it.
There are two types of night vision: active and passive. Active systems illuminate the surroundings using infrared light, and passive systems use thermal radiation to detect animals and people.
Take Advantage of Car Glass Technology
These are the main types of car glass technology you will find in vehicles today. These glass technologies are becoming more common every year and companies, like windscreen replacement professionals, have to constantly keep up with them.
Find out whether your next car has any of these types of glass, which can help to improve comfort and safety for you and your passengers.