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GM Patents an Auto-Dimming, Augmented-Reality Windshield

We may be a long way from seeing this windshield in cars on the road, but it gives an idea of the possibilities Automotive columnist: , Updated:

GM patent application for an auto-dimming AR windshield, fig 2
GM patent application for an auto-dimming AR windshield, fig 2

•    GM has filed a patent application for an augmented-reality, auto-dimming windshield.

•    The technology is being looked at by a growing number of automakers, including Porsche and Mercedes-Benz.

•    An auto-dimming feature to reduce glare could be an interesting safety advance.

When a company files a patent application with the responsible U.S. authorities, it doesn't necessarily mean there’s something concrete on the way into a vehicle or onto the marketplace. But it can reveal what types of vehicles or new technologies carmakers are working on. 

A recent application by General Motors (GM) involves an auto-dimming windshield that uses augmented reality. The auto-dimming function is already in use in many vehicles, in which it allows drivers to switch their rearview mirror to “night” mode so as not to be blinded by the headlights of vehicles behind. 

Already, some mirrors do this automatically. A windshield offering this function would prevent motorists being blinded by the headlights of vehicles they pass on the road.

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The application was filed on January 17, 2023, less than a week ago. The windshield uses a system that incorporates an augmented reality head-up display and also uses sensors to detect and identify oncoming headlights and other potentially blinding light sources.

The patent application states that when the system detects that the light exceeds a certain threshold, it responds by dimming the light in a specific section of the windshield. This is a very interesting safety feature. It can also be useful in other circumstances, such as when driving in the rain and being bombarded by reflections from the road.

Augmented reality features could also increase safety by reducing driver distraction. This technology has the potential to revolutionize the way we drive.

Augmented reality is at the heart of development work at many car-company addresses. Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, among others, are also investing in the technology to enhance the driving experience.

It’s not known how quickly this technology will go from drawing board to reality. We can also imagine the cost impacts that will be related to developing the technology and incorporating it in vehicles, or even what that might do to toe cost of replacing a windshield.

GM patent application for an auto-dimming AR windshield, fig 3
GM patent application for an auto-dimming AR windshield, fig 3
GM patent application for an auto-dimming AR windshield, fig 4
GM patent application for an auto-dimming AR windshield, fig 4
GM patent application for an auto-dimming AR windshield, fig 5
GM patent application for an auto-dimming AR windshield, fig 5
GM patent application for an auto-dimming AR windshield, fig 6
GM patent application for an auto-dimming AR windshield, fig 6
GM patent application for an auto-dimming AR windshield, fig 7
GM patent application for an auto-dimming AR windshield, fig 7
GM patent application for an auto-dimming AR windshield, fig 8
GM patent application for an auto-dimming AR windshield, fig 8