Smart windshields are the latest talk of car town. But like any new technology, it has raised some valid concerns in the automotive industry. Are smart windshields safe? What are the benefits of windshields for the modern driver? Above all, when will they be available on the market?
Let’s find out.
What is a smart windshield?
A smart windshield, in the simplest sense, is windshield integrated with smart technology. It’s more than a protective front-view window for seeing the road ahead. It also acts as a screen equipped with “smart” features.
Smart windshields may be capable of displaying the following:
- Directions for driving
- Vehicle information
- Sponsored advertising
- Payment and ordering options
- Online searches
- Audio and video call
These are but a few examples of what smartshields can do. To illustrate its full potential, let’s say your vehicle is running on low fuel. In this scenario, a smart windshield can show…
- The nearest gas stations
- Directions to your chosen gas station
- Fuel prices, discounts, and other offerings
- Options to book and pay for refueling before you reach a gas station
How does a smart windshield work?
A smart windshield is like a smart TV. It displays information from a smart device rather than perform actions itself. This device, which can be a smartphone, tablet, or computer:
- Contains pertinent data (i.e. personal details, payment information)
- Will be responsible for performing prompt-based actions
- Show information on the windshield for a wide-screen view
Are smart windshields safe?
It depends on who you’re asking. People opposed to the idea worry that it increases the risk for accidents. They argue it distracts drivers from focusing on the road.
Supporters of the smart windshield disagree. They say there’s no proof of these perceived risks. Car manufacturers have used windshields to show speed, acceleration, and fuel levels. And it’s been like this for more than a decade.
Furthermore, they argue that smart windshields are more likely to promote safe driving. For instance, maps and navigation can be shown on the windshield. This way, drivers can keep their eyes on the road and not have to look at their smartphone or tablet for directions.
In 2015, there was a spike in number of fatalities caused by vehicular accidents. These statistics were derived from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. According to NHTSA, it was the highest increase in fifty years. They attributed it to drivers getting distracted by smartphone apps.
Smart windshields can prevent these kinds of accidents. With the help of voice control technology, they can even save lives.
When can I expect smart windshields?
Jeff Evenson, the Chief Technology Officer of Corning Inc., thinks it will arrive in two years. Corning Inc. is the company responsible for the Gorilla Glass found on Apple’s iPhone.
Evenson revealed that automakers have been buying their glass to create smart windshields. He added that Corning is working on a version that displays information on the whole screen, and not only 10 inches across. Evenson also boasts an improved version of their glass. He says it will be thinner, lighter, and tougher than previous iterations.
Whether you like it or not, smart windshields are bound to arrive soon.