Smart Windshields: Cutting Edge or Huge Safety Concern?

Smart Windshields: Cutting Edge or Huge Safety Concern?

We all enjoy the convenience of connected cars in our lives. But the next step in auto-tech connectivity is giving many experts cause for concern.

Safety experts in particular are taking issue with what could be best described as ‘the smart windshield.’ The smart windshield could provide drivers and passengers alike with the same types of driving directions, advertising, vehicle information, and ordering/payment possibilities as you have on your laptop or smartphone – on a much larger and more dramatic scale.

For example, when your vehicle fuel level reaches a certain low point, several options for purchasing fuel would be displayed (on the windshield) just out of the driver’s main field of vision. These options would be configured using personal consumer data gathered from your connected car, smartphone, and/or laptop or tablet. Additionally, passengers might also see promotional offers such as sale prices or free merchandise. Driving directions to the nearest fuel filling station would also be offered at this time.

Are They Really Safe?

From a safety standpoint, the question is: Should the windshield be used for anything other than observing the road ahead? Opponents of the developmental smart windshield say no. Supporters, however, say that smart windshield technology could actually make driving safer.

First, consider that some automakers have been using a windshield display for more than a decade – with very few if any repercussions. The GM Heads Up Display projects instrument panel displays data directly on the windshield in front of the driver. BMW, Hyundai, and Toyota all use similar systems. This eliminates the need for the driver to look away from the road and check speed and other pertinent data. If interactive internet based options could be added to this type of format it could actually promote safety.

Smart windshield supporters also point to the fact that mapping and navigational data could eventually be superimposed onto the road in front of the driver. Google Street View currently displays  information on a static image in this way. This could effectively eliminate another reason for the driver to look away from the roadway while the vehicle is in motion.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics indicate that 2015 saw the largest rise in traffic related fatalities in fifty-years. This rise has been contributed to driver distraction caused by mobile phones and the apps which they contain. The smart windshield could offer a solution to drivers looking away from the road and at their mobile devices. By superimposing the app screen onto a section of the windshield, driver distraction could be reduced significantly. Combined with voice control technology, the smart windshield could actually save lives.

Widespread Smart Windshields On the Way?

This innovative new technology may be closer to production vehicles than you think. In order to sharpen the images projected onto the smart windshield, automakers have been purchasing the same glass used in Apple’s iPhone through Corning, Inc. Corning Chief Technology Officer Jeff Evenson stated in a recent interview that smart windshield technology could be commonplace in two-years or less. Corning is working diligently to expand the current 10-inch size of their smart windshield display to include the entire windshield. Evenson also mentioned the fact that this special glass would be thinner, lighter, and more durable than conventional auto glass.

Love or hate it, the smart windshield is coming. Testing and development is ramping up across the country and major players like Apple and Samsung are already heavily involved.

Whether enhanced technology finds itself to your windshield or not, accidents will happen. Connect Auto Glass provides full, fast, mobile windshield repair. Few people are financially ready for a complete windshield replacement. We know that. That’s why Connect Auto Glass offers pay over time. We will work with your insurance company and also accept Snap Financing.

For a quote, call 844-449-4407.

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