The average driver on the road is swimming (or should we say drowning) in automation. From IoT-based superhighways to navigation, safety packages, and, connectivity features, getting into a car feels more like entering the 4th dream level in Inception.


But auto manufacturers are just getting started. The next ten years will usher in a whole new wave of automation features designed to enhance your driving experience.


Windshields are no exception.


The Advent of Smart Windshields


 Automakers, technology companies, and glass manufacturers are collaborating to turn a standard windshield into an iPhone display. Mobile-driven data services are currently generating billions of dollar in revenue. Adding display and automated features to a vehicle’s windshield seem like a logical next step.


Windshields will offer all types of features including voice activation, navigation, quick ads based on driver preferences and locations, and even musical choices.


How Does a Smart Windshield Work?


During the beta stage, a smart windshield will work one of two ways.


1.      Driver Interaction: The driver will “talk” to the windshield in a similar manner as Siri on an iPhone. The driver asks a question or makes demands in as few words as possible. The windshield display responds by providing the necessary information.

2.      Preferences & Memory: A driver inputs data based on preferences. The smart windshield records the data and then makes relevant suggestions. The system may also gather driver habits and solicit recommendations at will.


Here’s an example:


The driver’s vehicle is low on gas. The car, sensing that there’s less than a quarter tank of gas in the car, asks the driver if he or she would like recommendations on a nearby gas station. The driver responds, “Yes.” The car then utilizes IoT technology, navigational technology, cloud-based data, or all of the above to locate the nearest gas station.


The windshield displays the search results and the distance of each station. The windshield may display current gas prices so that the driver doesn’t have to guess which gas station is cheaper.


All of this happens within seconds of the driver’s request. The same process - whether triggered by the driver or the device - can occur in an endless array of scenarios.


Advanced Navigational Displays


Navigation is a top priority with manufacturers like BMW, AG, Hyundai, and Toyota. The foreign automakers have been working on navigational features over the last five. Projections put releases dates as early as next year on high-end vehicles.


Developers are creating navigational devices that are similar to Google Maps, with full real-time displays. They are also forming partnerships with popular sites such as Waze, TripAdvisor, Alphabet INc, and other travel-assist websites. The partnerships, and the products currently in production, will give drivers a comprehensive navigational experience.


Safety Concerns


All advances in vehicle automation have had to face one form of scrutiny or another. Most of the criticisms come in the form of safety concerns. Windshield manufacturers will have to adhere to the same strict regulations that govern the auto glass industry with driver distraction being the focal point of discussion.


Proponents of the new technology claim that windshield displays are safer alternatives because drivers will not take their eyes off the road to glance down at their devices. The problem with these claims is whether the window displays will block a driver’s view.


As more information and advances in the industry become available developers will have a more unobstructed view of how to proceed with the latest advances.


In the meantime, auto glass repair companies such as Only 1 Auto Glass will continue to focus on making driving safer by making the necessary repairs or replacements to windshields and side glass in an automobile.


Complete Window Repair and Replacement in Minneapolis


If you need windshield repair or replacement in Maplewood or Minneapolis, Minnesota, contact Only 1 Auto Glass. We specialize in windshield restoration.


To schedule repair at our service center, call us today at 651-789-1111.