Window glass is getting an upgrade.
At the current rate of technological intrusion into today’s automobiles, there won’t be a single surface left untouched in a car that doesn’t do something techy – record, chime, vibrate, or, in the possible case of the BMW iNext, dim. A new report from BMWBlog hints the brand’s technological flagship could come with automatically dimming windows, though they won’t be exclusively for privacy. They’ll help moderate the interior temperatures, too.
The report says BMW could use Continental’s Intelligent Glass Control. The tech has been around – and in cars – since 2017, most often used in panoramic sunroofs. But last year, Continental enhanced the technology, giving it greater flexibility that makes it suitable for use in car windows. The technology uses special films integrated into the glass that can change their degree of translucency, providing a range of tint levels based on needs. Not only can this help with privacy, but it can help reduce the need for air conditioning, which is good for the environment.
The BMW could take the window tech a step further, using sensors to detect the sun’s position and then have the car proactively tint the necessary windows to keep things cool inside. That’d be a neat feature in a vehicle BMW has called “a pioneer for many key automotive innovations,” which includes Level 3 semi-autonomous driving technology and a fully electric powertrain.
Gallery: 2021 BMW iNEXT teasers
The BMW iNext is expected to arrive at dealerships for the 2021 model year. However, we don’t know when BMW will show the car to the public. It could debut later this year or even in early 2021. BMW has already teased the car’s exterior, which looks like your typical crossover, and has given us a peek inside, too. Going forward, more automakers will experiment with different glass technologies. Bosch is also playing with tinting glass technology – but for sun visors.