GM Patent Can Help Driving Visibility and Safety in a Major Way

Automakers are constantly trying to reinvent parts of the vehicle, including the windshield. General Motors is one of them. A recently published patent shows the technology the brand wants to implement for vehicle windows. What is this new tech, and how can it help with driving visibility and safety?

GM’s newest patent centered around driving visibility and safety

A GM product showcasing driving visibility and safety in a Cadillac XT6.
Cadillac XT6 | Daniel Acker via Getty Images

GM recently applied for a patent to develop a section of glass that will act as a display system. The brand initially applied for it back in March of 2021, published on October 11th, 2022. The details that go into this creation are quite impressive because it goes beyond what a standard windshield would offer. 

Within the screen would be a collection of liquid-crystalized pixels layered on a section of transparent LED sheets. According to the GM Authority blog, this display will selectively block light in certain areas while darkening others in various spots to showcase pertinent information. 

How the GM patent is beneficial to driving visibility and safety

What exactly does all that mean? Well, it depends on its final use, but this technology would reduce glare and other visibility issues beyond the small tinted strip at the top of the windshield. The feature will come with a controller to get the desired effect when it’s needed by brightening up some areas and dimming others. 

Apparently, this tech could be paired with virtual reality images, which GM says could aid in safe travel (if used in a vehicle), offer navigational directions, and inform the driver of anything they need to know to avoid.

The blog shows images of what this would look like if it were implemented in a car’s windshield and combined with other features. You could be alerted to a pedestrian crossing the road ahead, receive information about an upcoming stop, get directions to your destination without taking your eyes off the road, and learn about upcoming weather conditions. 

It will also offer the ability to project an image on the window of choice. This would allow passengers to learn tidbits about the destination you’re headed to, or you could showcase an image like an American flag, which GM’s blog shows an example of.

What other GM patents are there?

This isn’t GM’s only patent. The brand has had several over the years. We’ve recently seen dual charging capabilities and inflatables to cushion your cargo, which would pad the sides of the pickup bed to protect whatever you were hauling. The company also applied for a transparent frame patent, which offers visibility benefits like this anti-glare technology that just got a patent. 

According to MotorTrend, the A-frame eliminates the roof caving in on the vehicle’s occupants when it gets into an accident. It also allows frontal crash forces to get absorbed and travel up and down that frame to give more protection for the passengers should they find themselves in a collision. 

However, one of the most significant drawbacks to this frame piece is that the driver is limited to what’s happening on the sides of the road due to the frame being in the way. Automakers have been looking for a better solution to the problem without eliminating the A-pillar. GM was potentially one of the companies that found one. 

While aiding in a driver’s viewpoint from the windshield, GM came up with another idea that can reduce glare while offering other opportunities to project images and text that will alert you of possible hazards along your road trip. By combining the two tech features, drivers will be better prepared against potential driving problems. 

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