Lighter But Stronger
Corning, the company responsible for the glass protecting your smartphone screens, has introduced a concept car equipped with their tough Gorilla Glass. The car is dubbed—with an alliterative flair—the Corning Connected Concept Car. The vehicle's windshield, sunroof, and rear window are all composed of the material, along with Gorilla Glass dashboard and steering wheel displays, and a center control panel display between the driver and passenger seats.
The glass is treated with additional ingredients, in order to protect it from the more extreme conditions a car must endure that a smartphone does not, including severe winter cold or summer heat. The sunroof and rear window also received an additional layer which allows them to become nearly opaque with a single push of a button, helping to shield drivers from the Sun.
The glass is thinner, stronger, and lighter than conventional auto glass, giving it a few advantages including an overall weight reduction of the vehicle. According to Corning's website, "Gorilla Glass enables more than one-third weight reduction compared with conventional car windows," thus allowing for a more fuel efficient car.
Despite its slighter size and weight, the strength of the new glass is also a welcome upgrade. Corning claims their glass has double the strength of soda lime glass, which leads to a 50% lesser chance of a kicked-up rock cracking your windshield.
The company also boasts a higher degree of clarity and a wider viewing area for upcoming Head-Up Displays (HUDs). The glass will allow for better, brighter, and sharper images.
Advancements in glass and other materials are allowing for forms of transportation to achieve degrees of safety and performance never before possible with conventional components. Glass alone seems to be undergoing a kind of renaissance. Developments have included smart windows that can adapt to the environment, and even translucent glass made out of wood.