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California Cancels Plans to Enact Auto Glass Regulations
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has announced that it will not
enact the previously planned California auto glass regulations based on
concerns from stakeholders that they might impact electronic device performance,
according to a statement from CARB. The regulations were set to be finalized
in March (see related story in November/December 2009 AGRR, page 24).
“After listening to this input and accounting for the legal deadline to
finalize the rule … we are announcing that the AB 32 ‘cool cars’ rulemaking
will cease,” reads the statement. “Instead, the Board will pursue a performance-based
approach as part of its vehicle climate change program to reduce CO2 from
air conditioning and provide cooler car interiors …”
A mixed response came from across the industry following the decision
to cancel plans to enact such regulations. Many glass manufacturers had
supported the development of the regulations, which called for reflective
glass in vehicles with the model year of 2012 or later, noting they might
have helped the promotion of value-added glass, while some repair industry
representatives had expressed concerns previously about the regulations.
In light of the announcement, Rob Vandal, director of advanced product
development for Guardian Automotive, says many manufacturers had already
put a great deal of work into getting ready for the enactment of the regulations.
“Normally after Board approval, which occurred last June, the regulations
end up being adopted after the appropriate edits and comments periods
have passed,” says Vandal. “In this case, this late cancellation is particularly
difficult for the supply base as the proverbial horse had already left
the barn. In order to be prepared for 2012 model year the suppliers and
OEMs had already made investments and prototypes. These investments are
now in question, along with any jobs they created.”
SuperGlass Windshield Repair president David Casey had been in contacwith
CARB as a representative of the National Windshield Repair Association
about how the regulations might impact windshield repair in the state;
he previously advised AGRR magazine/www.glassBYTEs.com™ that he had fears
about the requirements and what would happen to repair if manufacturers
chose to place the reflective coating on Surface No. 2 of the glass.
“Even though there were a number of reasons that the ‘cool glass’ bill
was terminated by CARB, I was very gratified that the director was open
to hearing about the repair issue with the coated glass,” says Casey.
GM Working to Develop Advanced Head-Up Display Technology; Would Span
Entire Width of Windshield
General Motors’ research and development department, along with several
universities, are working on a system that would use data gathered from
an array of vehicle sensors and cameras and project images generated by
compact ultraviolet lasers directly onto the entire surface of the windshield,
according to a release issued by the auto manufacturer.
“We’re looking to create enhanced vision systems,” says Thomas Seder,
group lab manager-GM research and development.
Seder is working with Carnegie Mellon University and The University of
Southern California, as well as other institutions, to create a full windshield
head-up system to use night vision, navigation and camera-based sensor
technologies to improve driver visibility and object detection ability.
“Let’s say you’re driving in fog. We could use the vehicle’s infrared
cameras to identify where the edge of the road is and the lasers could
‘paint’ the edge of the road onto the windshield so the driver knows where
the edge of the road is,” Seder says.
To create the system, the windshield is coated with a series of transparent
phosphors which emit visible light when excited by a light beam-in this
case from a compact laser-and it becomes a large area transparent display.
(Though several head-up display systems already are in existence today,
most of these utilize only a small part of the windshield—while this one
uses the entire surface.)
“This design is superior to traditional head down display-based night
vision systems, which require a user to read information from a traditional
display, create a mental model and imagine the threat’s precise location
in space,” Seder says.
Officials from General Motors (GM) Corp. say they expect the company’s
new enhanced vision system to be available in the next decade, though
no particular vehicle line has been targeted. The advanced windshield
system currently is in research and development.
Seder adds, “This may seem like a very complex, very wild technology,
but in fact, it is being used today in cockpits around the world. Enhanced
vision systems are used in many commercial airlines.”
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No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.