Go, Car, Go  
Digital glass that can be used in the future as part of “curtainwall cars” could provide opportunities for the increased  
production and use of glass. The interior of this vehicle is covered with glass that passengers can change based on  
their personal preferences, such as underwater imagery, cityscapes or simply left clear.  
f you were part of the masses sign director with the Italian firm cars will soon be without steering  
playing Pokemon Go in the sum- ED Design srl, an automotive de- wheels, how will we make driver-  
mer of 2016, congratulations! sign and engineering company, less cars sexy, he questioned?  
You could go down in history spoke during Glass Performance  
as being part of the game that, Days, which took place in June “Vehicles are the last major market  
some believe, may just be credit- 2017 in Tampere, Finland. He talk- for digital connectivity …”  
ed with bringing augmented reality ed about the opportunities that AR But, he asked, how will automo-  
AR) to the public domain. could bring to the automotive glass tive designers re-create that lost  
If you’re not quite sure what AR industry—and beyond.  
“The digital age is here,” he said.  
“sex appeal” in autonomous ve-  
hicles? He pointed to driverless  
cars of today, such as the Waymo,  
is, it’s a technology that superim-  
poses a computer-generated image Why AR? Why Now?  
on a user’s view of the real-world.  
Robinson explained that eventual- formerly Google’s self-driving car.  
Said another way, it allows you to ly cars will be autonomous. He said They may be autonomous, but they  
integrate digital information (like that, given the increasingly elevat- don’t have the same appeal as a  
that little yellow Pokemon, Pika- ed number of traffic-related deaths, fast sports car.  
chu) with your real world environ- projections show the following:  
ment (like the park where you and In 2027 many people will be using take the culture of a glass high-rise  
your kids tried to catch him). autonomous vehicles; building and put it in a car, where  
While games and videos are fun, In 2037 virtual chauffeurs will be the interior is sheathed in glass?  
the opportunities for AR will have a driving most cars; Then you’ve brought curtainwall  
reach that extends far beyond mo- In 2047 steering wheels and gaso- construction into a vehicle. On the  
bile phones. The automotive indus- line will be prohibited; and inside of the car, within the glass,  
try, in fact, could see huge benefits In 2057 we will have zero acci- you have images that can change to  
What if, Robinson suggested, you  
in the technology’s growth and de-  
velopment—and that includes a lot  
more glass.  
dents and zero road deaths.  
Sounds great, right? But there’s putting the glass inside the car  
a problem in all this: driving a equals more glass per vehicle. Why  
whatever you want. He explained,  
Michael Robinson, CEO and de- sleek, fast car, he said, is sexy. If all will this be covered? Because the  
30 ‚AGRR ‚ September/October 2017 www.agrrmag.com  
A Look at Automotive Digital  
Technology Opportunities for Glass  
According to Michael Robinson, cars today are designed around the object—  
form, proportions and surfacing—but in the future will be designed for the user  
experience, focused on feelings, technology and sensations.  
glass has information embedded  
within it—it’s digital glass, not windshields will soon be better in-  
coated glass, he said. formation providers than PCs and  
Robinson explained that cars to- smartphones.  
Looking to the future, he said  
Comes in  
Many Forms  
day are designed around the object  
“We will come to expect informa-  
itself: form, proportions, and its tion floating above every detail,” he  
surfacing. In the future, cars will be said, also adding that if the glazing  
designed for the user experience: industry doesn’t step up, someone  
feelings, technology and sensations. else will, which could lead to a reg-  
ulated market segment.  
• Head-mounted displays  
Special FX  
How will they do this? Look to the More than Just Cars  
special effects seen in science fic-  
Robinson suggested the same  
tion films, such as Minority Report AR technology could be applied to  
and The Terminator. Future techno- many other applications, such as  
logical advances will make AR con- homes, where the same glass tech-  
cepts feasible, and will add the user nology covers the whole interior,  
experience into automotive glazing. allowing you to change the environ-  
Taking a closer look, Robinson ment inside the house.  
• Contact lenses  
Virtual retinal display  
Eye taps  
showed images of what he called  
“This would multiply the quantity  
one of the world’s first autonomous of glass sold around the world,” he  
cars, the 1998 Lancia Dialogos, an said. “You could do so many things  
Italian luxury concept car that was with digital glass—if only someone  
Handheld devices  
Spatial augmented reality  
presented at the 1998 Turin Motor will make it.”  
Show in Italy. He described the wind-  
shields as being better than a PC and ELLEN ROGERS is a contributing editor for  
• Automotive glazing  
embedded with LCD smart glass.  
AGRR magazine.  

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