Apple Patent Application Detects Cracked Windshields

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
apple patent application detects cracked windshields

If you’re doing any kind of regular driving, it’s likely a matter of time before you’ll find yourself confronting a cracked windshield. Maybe a stray rock chips the glass and it spiders out as the car is heat cycled through the winter or perhaps an errant baseball does some real damage during a summer afternoon catch with the family. There is a multitude of reasons but only one outcome — pure, unadulterated rage leading into some mental math as you ask yourself how long you might be able to get away with it going unfixed.

Well, those days may soon be over (minus the rage) because Apple filed a patent application earlier this month that describes a system that would monitor the resistance of a conductive film placed inside/against a sheet of laminated glass.

The patent application was filed in the United States on November 19th and shared by CNET on Monday. Here’s how it’s explained in the abstract:

A system such as a vehicle may have windows with one or more conductive layers. The conductive layers may form part of an infrared-light-blocking layer or other layer. The infrared-light-block layer or other layer may be formed as a coating on a transparent structural window layer such as an outer or inner glass layer in a laminated window or may be embedded in a polymer layer between the outer and inner layers. Segmented terminals and elongated terminals that may extend past two or more segmented terminals may be coupled to the edges of the conductive layer. Using these terminals, control circuitry can apply localized ohmic heating currents and make resistance measurements on the conductive layers to detect cracks.

Based on the general trend connected vehicles are pursuing, the obvious application would be a system that allows the vehicle to tattle on you to the manufacturer or insurer. Alternatively, the system could also pick up on cracks before they become visible — allowing customers to fix them long before they get begin impacting visibility. Unfortunately, it also seems like the sort of thing that would make replacement windshields cost a fortune.

[Image: What Photo/Shutterstock]

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  • Jkross22 Jkross22 on Dec 01, 2020

    My windshield developed a crack when I drove it home from the dealer in 2010. I got the crack sealed within a day. It's been there for the last 10 years and hasn't expanded or bothered me. It's just below my line of sight. Dang, I've had that car since before Obamacare. I got that car when the iphone 4 was hot and the only pandemic we'd heard about was the swine flu.

  • Lstanley Lstanley on Dec 02, 2020

    Just wait until this technology also won't allow your car to start until the windshield is replaced. It's for your safety, Citizen!

  • Johnds Years ago I pulled over a vehicle from either Manitoba or Ontario in North Dakota for speeding. The license plates and drivers license did not come up on my dispatchers computer. The only option was to call their government. Being that it was 2 am, that wasn’t possible so they were given a warning.
  • BEPLA My own theory/question on the Mark VI:Had Lincoln used the longer sedan wheelbase on the coupe - by leaning the windshield back and pushing the dashboard & steering wheel rearward a bit - not built a sedan - and engineered the car for frameless side windows (those framed windows are clunky, look cheap, and add too many vertical lines in comparison to the previous Marks) - Would the VI have remained an attractive, aspirational object of desire?
  • VoGhost Another ICEbox? Pass. Where are you going to fill your oil addiction when all the gas stations disappear for lack of demand? I want a pickup that I can actually use for a few decades.
  • Art Vandelay Best? PCH from Ventura to somewhere near Lompoc. Most Famous? Route Irish
  • GT Ross The black wheel fad cannot die soon enough for me.