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A BMW with a cool-shade panorama roof featuring smartglass technology.

Auto Industry Wises Up to 'Smartglass'

Greater use of advanced glass technology is foreseen in future vehicles.

Here’s what could be in store in 2020 and beyond for the automotive industry and auto glass in particular.

Autonomous-Vehicle Experiences

With autonomous technology set to “take the wheel,” occupants will have a lot more time on their hands while en route.

With this in mind, OEMs are thinking long and hard about what the occupant experience will be like in the AV world.

Expect glass to be a much bigger focal point, as OEMs begin to develop greater know-how on upcoming “AV-first” passenger experiences.

For example, the use of smartglass in the place of traditional windows can transform vehicle interiors into entertainment hubs, enhance or block the connection between occupants and the outside environment or utilize windows for new forms of external signage.

Noise Reduction

The auto industry already invests lots of time and resources to lower internal sound pollution by even just a few decibels.

But as the passenger experience begins to change as a result of autonomous-vehicle technology, expect research and spending on noise reductions to skyrocket. Turning up the radio might do the trick today, but what if future AV passengers want to use their commutes to work – or even sleep?

Smartglass technology is already delivering noise-reduction benefits inside aircraft and other commercial vehicles. Paired with electric vehicles’ nearly silent propulsion systems, smartglass could deliver a new level of sound reduction.

Push for Sustainability Continues

With new environmental regulations on the horizon – particularly in Europe – delivering sustainable vehicles is a must. And EVs are gaining ground.

joe harary.pngIn 2020, expect not only additional automotive R&D in green areas such as battery capacity and faster charging speeds, but also in automotive building materials as well. (Joe Harary, left)

For example, smartglass technology can boost EV driving range by over 5% and cut CO2 emissions by four grams per kilometer.

Joe Harary is CEO of Research Frontiers, a glass provider for Mercedes-Benz, McLaren and other OEMs.

TAGS: Vehicles
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