In this edition of Sci-Tech we visit the IAA Mobility event in Munich, Germany. We examine the latest technology trends driving the automotive industry, today and in the future.
Some of the biggest names in automobile manufacturing and technology are present at the IAA Mobility event showcasing their new designs and innovations.
As mobility comes under increasing pressure to become cleaner and greener, the buzzwords here are “smart and sustainable”.
Laurent Meillaud, is a journalist and expert in automotive technology.
“We are feeling strong climate pressure more than ever. So we see electric cars everywhere. The hot topic this year also concerns digital. We can see some companies coming from the consumer electronics sector, like LG. We have Samsung. We feel that everything is about connectivity, 5G, Cloud. So we will be connected at home, connected at the office.
Japanese company Sekisui manufactures materials for different industries around the world, including mobility. It has been present in Europe for 60 years and has been supplying the European automotive market since the 1980s.
The company claims that 75 percent of current cars in Europe are equipped with its technologies. Glass components occupy an important place. This concept car shows the windows of tomorrow.
Masashi Yanai is the Director of Product Planning at Sekisui Europe.
“By touch switching, the glass can become transparent and also become the privacy glass again. In addition, for the front door we have also integrated the car, because there are no more door handles in the car, we have put mobile access, as well as the touch function with a display of icons on the glass.
The latest in-vehicle information technologies are also presented by exhibitors here in Munich.
Sekisui is focused on facilitating next-generation displays, with content visible across the entire windshield.
Masashi Yanai again.
“Like navigation, cell phones, radio or clock, that kind of information, we can put it in the glass. In the case of autonomous driving, perhaps we could put a cinema screen in the middle of the window. And, in an emergency or when driving manually, they simply disappear from the screens and return to the normal window.
Sekisui already supports current windshield technologies at its manufacturing center in the Netherlands. This is a special film for head-up displays, which project information onto the glass.
Roel Philipsen, is the marketing manager at Sekisui S-LEC BV.
“One of the problems with a heads-up display is a blurry image. So with our film, one of them is wedge shaped. So, when inserted inside the glass, it guarantees the right angle for a very clear view from the driving position, for information.
Philipsen then took the Sci-Tech team for a test drive in his car to demonstrate the innovative windshield display features.
“I can see the speed limit, I can see my speed. I don’t need to look here, at the central screen. I can just keep it on the road constantly. So if something appears, like someone on a bike or a pedestrian, I can react immediately. It is much safer to constantly keep an eye on the road. »
In addition to improving safety, the film inside the windshield also has noise and heat blocking functions.
“While driving, you hear the noise of the wind, the tires, the engine. Additionally, the noise-reducing film ensures that the interior of the vehicle is much quieter, up to five decibels quieter. In addition to this, we can also, in the same film, add heat-blocking particles, to ensure that it is cooler inside the car. So you use the air conditioning less. Philipsen explains.
The challenge now for automakers is to stay ahead of the curve – and stay relevant.
The journalist Laurent Meillaud again.
“It’s like a Formula 1 race because you have to take everything into account at the same time. You have the digital side, you have electricity, you have autonomous driving. But I am confident. They have been there for a century and I think for another 100 years they will still be there.