Recently, AGRR Magazine -- a publication devoted to bringing its readers the best of the automotive glass repair and replacement industry -- went onsite to the nation's top show devoted exclusively to technology. While at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, their editors spoke with several industry leaders about the innovations that are slated to hit the industry at some point in 2016.
This company is set to roll out their Intelli-glass system. This new product is able to take its surroundings into account and adjust the amount of tint that it delivers. This is a huge safety leap as it could help eliminate accidents due to drivers being blinded by the late afternoon sunlight. Due to the regulations within certain states, however, only a portion of the windshield would be tinted.
BMW is set to revolutionize not only the auto glass industry but the automotive industry itself. The way they are going to do this is with the addition of cameras to their vehicles. While cameras are nothing new when it comes to vehicles -- backup cameras have been in use for several years now, for example -- BMW is poised to replace the mirrors that are currently in use in standard vehicles. In addition to being stylistically superior to the current offerings on the market, adding these cameras will virtually eliminate those troublesome blind spots that all too often result in accidents. In addition, the cameras contain sensors that alert the driver to vehicles that are too close or that are approaching too quickly.
Corning showed off three ways that their technological glass can be used inside a vehicle. By building their Gorilla Glass inside windshields, Corning is able to create a windshield that is tougher, thinner, stronger, lighter and more optically clear. Ford has announced that their GT Supercar will be the first production car to use Corning's Gorilla Glass in their windshields. In addition, BMW is using the glass within the interior of their vehicles as well. There are also a number of other manufacturers that are also doing so. However, Corning is not able to name them publicly at this time.
Autonomous vehicles were are also a hot topic at CES. One manufacturer noted that the technology is still so new that a plan has not been set for addressing the repair or replacement of those windshields. However, technicians in the auto glass industry need to be aware of their options as this will become an issue in the near future.