The windshield of your car does more than give you visibility. It protects you from Arizona’s road hazards, from road debris to ultraviolet rays to other drivers. Auto glass makes your car more aerodynamic and fuel-efficient, and it keeps you comfortable while you are traveling from point A to point B. Just as automobiles have become more advanced, so has automotive glass. Here are only a few of the technologies coming to a vehicle near you.
Light Sensors in Your Windshield
Your newer model car probably has automatic headlights that go on and off so that you don’t have to manually operate them when the light level changes due to 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.
- Behind the rearview mirror on the front windshield
- On the dashboard near the edge of the windshield
- On the windscreen near the rain sensor, if you have one
These same sensors turn off your headlights to conserve battery life. 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 failing to come on when you do. A competent and well-trained professional knows what equipment you need and how to install it correctly.
Rain Sensors in Your Windshield
Rain sensors in the windshield work similarly to light sensors and help when you encounter an Arizona downpour. The sensors turn on the wipers automatically when they detect rain on the glass, and you can usually find the sensors on the windshield near the rearview mirror. If the car has both light and rain sensors, they are often adjacent. Rain sensors are desirable because they make it easier to see in inclement weather without distracting you from driving.
Rain sensors work by detecting 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.
Heads-Up Display on Your Windshield
A heads-up display (HUD) is a technology that projects a transparent display of your dashboard indicators onto your windshield. With a HUD, you don’t have to take 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. Initially designed for use in military planes, HUD technology is available as an option in many high-end cars in Arizona. While it may seem like a luxury or a toy, a heads-up display is a smart safety solution since it helps you keep your eyes on the road rather than getting distracted by the indicators on the dash.
If your windshield is cracked or broken and you have to replace it, the professional should be aware that you have a HUD display so it can be re-installed correctly. With a HUD, the windshield is polarized, so it’s more expensive to replace. Consult your insurance company to ensure you have adequate coverage in the event of a windshield repair/replacement.
Infrared-Reflective Windshield Glass
Infrared-reflective windshield glass, also known as IR glass, may have a purple appearance when you’re looking at it from outside the car. While it cuts down tremendously on glare, IR glass does so much more than that. This technology filters out the sun’s infrared waves while allowing the visible light to get through, improving visibility inside the car, and making the glass transparent. IR windshields reflect about 50% of the infrared-energy into the atmosphere, cooling the vehicle by up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Not only is the cabin cooler with IR glass, 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 Arizona summer.
Infrared-reflective windshield glass has other benefits besides the cooler interior. It can save you money on gas because you will use your air conditioner less. The savings can help offset the cost of the more expensive IR glass. It’s important to note that, with IR glass, radio-controlled devices like automatic starters, will need an IR-permeable patch to work correctly. When it’s time for a replacement glass, you must specify that you want IR glass in the new windshield, as it is not standard on all vehicle makes and models.
Where Can I Learn More About Advances in Windshield Technology?
Whether you’re in Tucson or Phoenix, we’re here to help you. With Clear View Glass & Tint not only will you learn more about the latest technology in windshield glass, but have it for yourself too! We can help with everything from minor rock pecks and chips to full windshield replacement in advanced vehicles. Contact us today to get started! If you have insurance, we’ll take care of the filing, and if you don’t have insurance, we’ll still take good care of you.
Image Credit: Shutterstock/ Girlgirl