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Smart Windshields: A Way to Improve Safety or an Unsafe Distraction?

October 17, 2019

Smart Windshields: A Way to Improve Safety or an Unsafe Distraction?

It will not be long until smart windshields are the norm.  In other words, your car's windshield is about to become quite intelligent.  You will be able to see your current rate of speed, the speed limit of the street you are on and all sorts of other helpful information directly on your windshield.  Some safety proponents rightfully question whether it makes sense to install smart windshields in vehicles as they have the potential to become quite an unsafe distraction.


The Windshield of the Future


If you had the ability to travel through time five years into the future, you would likely find most automobiles are equipped with a smart windshield.  Smart windshields provide drivers and passengers with all sorts of helpful information.  Futurists insist the smart windshields of tomorrow will feature everything from vehicle information to the speed limit, advertisements, driving directions and more.  This technology could prove quite helpful.  As an example, if you are unfamiliar with the street you are on and traveling 15 mph above the posted speed limit, you might not know it unless notified by your smart windshield. 


It is also possible for a smart windshield to reveal key information about the vehicle such as the amount of fuel remaining.  Instead of forcing the driver to move his eyes down below the windshield to check the fuel gauge, the remaining level of fuel would be featured directly on the windshield.  In this sense, smart windshields are a welcome addition.  However, there will likely be a downside to these futuristic windshields in the form of distracted driving.


Are Smart Windshields Safe?


Those who are concerned about automobile safety insist smart windshields that display information, no matter how helpful, will ultimately be a safety hazard.  Use your mind's eye to imagine yourself driving down a highway with a 65 mph speed limit.  You are on a road trip to visit a friend a couple of states over.  You pull up the directions to your buddy's house on your vehicle's smart windshield.  You temporarily avert your gaze from the traffic on the highway up ahead to look at the directions on the windshield.  You read over the steps and attempt to memorize them all while maintaining control of your vehicle as it travels at 65 mph. 


Unfortunately, reading the directions superimposed on your windshield ends up causes you to rear-end another vehicle that came to an abrupt stop.  This is the type of scenario safety proponents are worried about.  It is just one example of how the supposed technological advancement of smart windshields can backfire in a big way.


Smart Windshields: A Risk Worth Taking?


It is clear there is an inherent risk to installing and relying upon a smart windshield.  However, temporarily averting your eyes from the traffic ahead to check out your rate of speed or remaining gas level on your smart windshield is no different from looking down at the dashboard for a moment or two.  Furthermore, it can be argued engaging in a conversation with someone in the vehicle or changing the radio station is just as distracting and dangerous as looking at a smart windshield.  After all, plenty of automakers have used windshield displays for longer than a decade with few negative incidents.


Those in support of smart windshields also argue mapping data will likely eventually reach the point where drivers simply look at the road directly in front of them for information.  Google's Street View technology already displays such information with static images in a similar manner.  If it will soon be acceptable for drivers to look at information mapped directly to the road in front of them, why shouldn't the same information be provided on the windshield?  This is just one of the many questions that must be addressed with the arrival of smart windshields and similar technologies.


All Discount Auto Glass is at Your Service


Our windshield aficionados are here to provide you with the perfect windshield for optimal visual clarity and protection.  If your windshield has any problems, if you are thinking about adding tint or if you have any questions or concerns about automobile windshields, reach out to us today for assistance.