For drivers who can’t decide if they want tinted or clear glass, BMW has an answer. The auto maker’s Concept Active Tourer, to be presented at the Paris Motor Show in a few weeks, features a “Cool Shade” roof that can change brightness at the touch of a button.It’s based on SPD-SmartGlass technology, designed by Research Frontiers Inc. The molecular structure of the glass is changed via electrical impulses, altering how much light is allowed through.
The result is a new level of control over the lighting, glare, and temperature of the car’s interior, with the added benefit of UV protection.
Research Frontiers predicts the technology will be adapted in other cars, planes, boats, and buildings.
If applied to car windows and the windshield as well as the roof, the feature could make driving safer: no more impaired vision when driving into sunlight. Greater control over temperature would limit the need for air conditioning, improving fuel economy.
On top of the practical benefits, the ability to go from clear glass to a fully tinted ride by pushing a button would just be plain cool.
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