Push a but­ton to tint car win­dow

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - STU RO­BARTS

AU­TO­MO­TIVE sup­plier Con­ti­nen­tal has de­vel­oped a new tech­nol­ogy that can tint car win­dows at the push of a but­ton. In­tel­li­gent Glass Con­trol uses the ap­pli­ca­tion of, or lack of, an elec­tric cur­rent to spe­cially made glass, offering pri­vacy, com­fort, safety and emis­sions ben­e­fits.

Vari­able glass tint­ing for ve­hi­cles has been pos­si­ble for some time, with Hino Mo­tors demon­strat­ing a take on it back in 2007, for ex­am­ple.

Con­ti­nen­tal says, how­ever, that the tech­nol­ogy has only been fea­si­ble in the roof area of a small num­ber of high- end cars and that its test ve­hi­cle shows the tech­nol­ogy em­ployed for side win­dows, rear win­dows and wind­shields for the first time.

The func­tion­al­ity is achieved by in­sert­ing spe­cial films with em­bed­ded par­ti­cles into the glass.

When a charge is ap­plied, the par­ti­cles “sys­tem­at­i­cally align them­selves in par­al­lel” and make the win­dow clear.

When the charge is re­moved, the par­ti­cles rear­range them­selves ran­domly, dark­en­ing the win­dow and leav­ing it trans­par­ent only from the in­side of the ve­hi­cle.

The head of Con­ti­nen­tal’s body and se­cu­rity unit, Andreas Wolf, says the tech­nol­ogy can of­fer pri­vacy, in­creased com­fort and im­proved safety for ve­hi­cle oc­cu­pants.

It can, of course, re­duce the ef­fects of bright sun­shine or glare, but can also elim­i­nate the im­paired vis­i­bil­ity and re­duc­tion in ve­hi­cle con­trol of a driver ad­just­ing the car’s sun vi­sor.

In ad­di­tion, the tech­nol­ogy can re­port­edly help to re­duce en­ergy us­age.

By re­duc­ing so­lar ra­di­a­tion, it is able to keep the in­te­rior of a ve­hi­cle cooler than would oth­er­wise be the case, thereby less­en­ing the need for air con­di­tion­ing.

“Our cal­cu­la­tions have shown that the CO2 emis­sions are re­duced by a good four grams per kilo­me­tre thanks to th­ese mea­sures, thus in­creas­ing the range of elec­tric ve­hi­cles by around 5,5%,” says Wolf.

Con­ti­nen­tal says the win­dow tint­ing could be de­vel­oped to change au­to­mat­i­cally in fu­ture, based on ex­ter­nal bright­ness, for ex­am­ple.

The film used cur­rently is said to have a slight blue shim­mer, but a range of other colour op­tions are ex­pected.

In ad­di­tion, it is sug­gested that fea­tures like en­ergy re­cov­ery and touch­screen func­tion­al­ity may also be pos­si­ble.

Con­ti­nen­tal has not re­leased cost de­tails, but de­scribes the film as be­ing “still rather costin­ten­sive”.

It does, how­ever, ex­pect prices to drop quickly, due to com­pe­ti­tion from other sim­i­lar tech­nolo­gies.

The firm be­lieves it doesn’t mat­ter too much which tech­nol­ogy pre­vails, with the value be­ing in the soft­ware and con­nec­tion know- how.

A car with Con­ti­nen­tal’s In­tel­li­gent Glass Con­trol in­stalled will be on dis­play at the Con­sumer Elec­tron­ics Show in Las Vegas from Jan­uary 6- 9, 2016.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.