When sunglasses just won’t do, a windshield that dims on its own just may be the answer.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded General Motors a patent for a windshield capable of dimming when experiencing excessive glare from oncoming vehicles. And when paired with an augmented reality heads-up display (HUD), drivers will see approaching vehicles highlighted.
The details were published last month while the application was made last summer, according to Glassbytes.com
GM Global Technology Operations noted that excessive glare can come off from the headlights of vehicles travelling in the opposite direction, making it a challenge for drivers to stay focused on the road.
“It is therefore desirable to develop a system and a method that can minimize the effects of excessive glare while driving,” GM wrote in the patent.
Smart glass with electrically-tunable transmittance capabilities would be capable of dimming the particular areas of the windshield when bright light is identified, such as that from an oncoming vehicle’s headlights.
The windshield would identify whether or not a vehicle approaching in the opposite direction has its headlights on. Then, it would gauge the intensity of those headlines. If the beam intensity of the headlights is deemed to be beyond a pre-determined threshold, appropriate locations of the windshield will dim.
“The smart glass includes a plurality of segments,” the patent said. “Each of the plurality of segments is individually configured to transition between an opaque state and a transparent state independently of other segments. The method further includes determining which of the segments of the smart glass have to be dimmed to cover the light beam.”