May/June  2001

Off the Line     breaking news


GM Introduces Concept Vehicle with ‘World’s Largest Sunroof’
The General Motors Corp. has introduced its H2 SUT Concept Vehicle. The vehicle comes equipped with “the world’s largest sunroof,” according to the company, and a unique retractable bulkhead. In addition, the H2 SUT is complete with roof-mounted, 360-degree infrared night vision, along with a GPS unit to guide it as an airplane is guided.

Companies Unite to Provide Drowsiness Detector
Advanced Safety Concepts Inc. has teamed up with Complexica Inc., both of Santa Fe, N.M., to design the MicroNod Detection System (MINDS). According to the companies, the MINDS device sits in the roof of an automobile and detects drowsiness in the car’s driver. Thus, it very likely could cut down on accidents, reducing the number of broken windshields worldwide, by the margin of windshields that are broken when a driver falls asleep.

DuPont Attempts to Perfect Heads Up Displays with New ‘Partial-Wedged’ PVB 
Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont Corp. is working to develop a ‘partial-wedged’ Butacite® PVB for Heads Up Display (HUD) in commercial windshield systems. HUD technology is already available on some vehicles, including the 2000 Pontiac Bonneville Sedan (see AGRR, November-December 2000, p.31-32) and certain Corvette models. The HUD displays can be used to convey information to the driver by projecting it onto the vehicle’s windshield. The information might include navigation assistance, night vision information, radio settings and cell phone information. With the latest developments at DuPont, the company expects future drivers to have access to the HUD displays with such innovations as three-color graphics.
However, the biggest difficulty in perfecting such displays is reducing the glare and shadows often found on windshields. The partial wedged Butacite interlayer should fix that problem, though, the company says.

The HUD systems themselves are usually supplied by companies such as Delphi Electronics and Nippon Seiki, according to DuPont, which says its PVB interlayer is used in approximately 80 percent of the displays.

MAXRAD Designs High-Powered Antenna to Attach to Windshields
MAXRAD of San Jose, Calif., has developed the MIG24, an ultra-slim, omni-directional antenna for mobile and fixed wireless data applications. The antenna was originally designed for vehicles for on-glass mounting, but now has other applications. According to a news release issued by the company, the rugged antenna provides trouble-free data transmittance in tough environments.

The MIG24 operates in frequencies from 2400 to 2500 MHz and utilizes high-bond tape that facilitates its mounting on windshields. It measures 5.7-inches long, 1-inch wide and 0.1-inch thick and includes 18-inches of LRM100A cable that can be fitted with most types of connectors. The antenna is available through MAXRAD’s network of distributors and manufacturer’s representatives.

Visteon and Hyundai Use Insulating Glass to Control Vehicle Temperatures
Visteon Climate Control Systems, a division of Dearborn, Mich.’s Visteon Corp., is working with Hyundai America Technical Center Inc. of Ann Arbor, Mich., to develop an energy-efficient thermal system for vehicles, utilizing certain types of glass. According to Visteon, it hopes to replace traditional glass sidelites with proprietary insulating units that protect the car’s inhabitants from solar energy on hot days, while also providing warmth in the winter months.

If all goes as planned, the companies hope to begin installing these energy efficient windows on vehicles produced by Korea’s Hyundai Motor Company Inc., including the Sonata, Elantra and other Hyundai models. 

Raytheon’s Night Vision Attaches to Glass to Allow Driver Clearer Night View
The Raytheon Co. of Lexington, Mass., has available a new product called Night Vision, which allows drivers to see up to five times the distance of standard headlights, according to the company. Raytheon says the devices use infrared thermal imaging to measure very small temperature differences, and paint a small head-up display on a vehicle’s windshield, right above the steering wheel. The device can be applied as an aftermarket add-on or with the OEM glass.


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