The windshield of your car does more than just give you visibility. It protects you from road hazards, road debris to ultraviolet rays from other drivers. Auto glass makes your car more aerodynamic and fuel-efficient, and it keeps you comfortable while you are traveling to your destination. Automotive glass has become more advanced in recent years due to innovations such as laminated safety glass, solar tinting, and tempered glass.
1. Light Sensors in Your Windshield
Automotive manufacturers have developed a number of technologies to enhance your driving experience. One such system is automatic headlights, which turn on or off when light levels change due to the time of day or weather. These lights work in conjunction with sensors in your windshield, so well-disguised that you may never even notice them. The sensors are usually in one of three places.
- On the dashboard near the edge of the windshield
- Behind the rearview mirror on the front windshield
- On the windscreen near the rain sensor, if you have one
In order to save battery life, your car’s sensors turn off the headlights when you’re not driving at night. If you have to replace your windshield due to an accident or damage, it’s wise to get another OEM part so that the new sensors work as they should. An improperly installed windshield and sensors may cause your lights to come on when you don’t need them or fail to come on when you do. A competent and well-trained professional know what equipment you need and how to install it correctly.
2. Rain Sensors in Your Windshield
Windshield rain sensors work similarly to light sensors, automatically turning on the wipers when they detect rain on the glass. The sensors are usually located near the rearview mirror. If your car has both light and rain sensors, they are often adjacent. Rain sensors make it easier to see in inclement weather without distracting you from driving.
Rain sensors consist of a light sensor and a wire harness. The sensor detects how much light reflects from the windshield, which varies depending on how much rain is present. If you have to have an auto glass repair/replacement due to a chip or a crack, and your car has rain sensors, be sure the repair professional knows so they can avoid damaging them and reattach the wiring or replace it if the harness is damaged.
3. Heads-Up Display on Your Windshield
A heads-up display projects a transparent display of your dashboard indicators onto your windshield. With a HUD, you can keep your eyes on the road and not have to worry about taking your eyes off the road to see your speed, fuel level, and other selected data points. The images are sometimes displayed directly on the windshield and sometimes presented in virtual reality.
Head-up display technology (HUD), originally developed for military planes, is now available in many high-end cars. Because the HUD allows drivers to view information without taking their eyes off the road, it is a smart safety solution that can increase your attention to driving rather than getting distracted by the indicators on the dash.
If your car’s windshield is cracked or broken, the auto glass technician should be aware that you have a Heads-Up Display (HUD) installed in the vehicle. HUDs are polarized and may therefore cost more to replace. Check with your insurance provider to ensure that you have adequate coverage in case of windshield repair/replacement.
4. Infrared-Reflective Windshield Glass
IR-reflective windshield glass, also known as IR glass, may appear purple when viewed from outside the car. This technology cuts down on glare while simultaneously improving visibility inside the automobile through the use of its filtering abilities on both the visible and infrared portions of the electromagnetic spectrum.
IR windshields reflect about 50% of the infrared energy into the atmosphere, thereby reducing the inside temperature by up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Not only is the cabin cooler, but the upholstery and other components are not so hot to the touch. This feature is an excellent comfort to drivers accustomed to burning their hands on a hot steering wheel in the summer heat.
IR-reflective windshield glass can save you money on gas. It does this by helping you use your air conditioner less, which means you will need to buy less gas. The savings can help offset the cost of the more expensive IR-reflective glass. It’s important to note that with this type of window, radio-controlled devices like automatic starters will need an IR-permeable patch to work correctly. When it’s time for a replacement window, you must specify that you want IR-reflective glass in the new windshield, as it is not standard on all vehicle makes and models.
5. Panoramic Windshields
The panoramic windshield is an expensive type of windshield that protects you from the elements. Extreme heat and direct sunlight can cause damage to your windshield, which is unavoidable. The panoramic windshield combines the functions of a regular windshield with those of a sunroof to give you complete visibility while driving in bright sunlight and prevent cracks or damage.
The panoramic windshield is a notable feature of the cutting-edge Tesla Model X. It allows natural sunlight to penetrate your vehicle and illuminate the interior of the vehicle as well. Modern cars are known for their panoramic windshields, which allow the sun to penetrate into the car.
6. Windshield without wipers
As weather conditions such as rainfall, snowfall, and sleet put a lot of strain on windshield wipers, they wear out quickly. Several high-end auto companies have been working on wiper-less windshields since the last decade. McLaren, a car manufacturing company borrowed technologies from fighter jets to develop wiper-less auto glass.
A recent development in the automobile industry has invented glasses that repel rain and snow. A transducer mounted in the corner of your windshield creates an ultrasonic force field and prevents rain, moisture, and debris from collecting on the surface. At this point in time, this technology has yet to be tested in realistic scenarios; however, given the pace of technological advancements in the industry, it is expected to hit the roads soon.