CES 2017 was packed full of autonomous, electric, and highly connected mobility solutions, but for something a little different, Digital Trends went to check out Corning’s glass-enabled concept car. Augmented with the sturdy Gorilla Glass that has protected smartphones for years, the vehicle is significantly more durable than a car wearing normal glass, but toughness is one of the material’s benefits.
Corning’s concept features hybrid Gorilla Glass on the windshield, sunroof, rear window, side windows, and the dashboard, which adds up to noticeable weight savings all around. Corning says Gorilla Glass is 30 percent lighter than the soda lime glass featured on most production vehicles, which not only improves fuel economy, it moves the center of gravity lower in the car to improve handling. Perhaps that’s why Ford decided to use it on the new GT supercar’s windshield.
In addition to the physical advantages, Gorilla Glass is also clearer than normal glass, which allows for more vibrant head-up displays, connected surfaces, and entire dashboards that function as touchscreens. That’s not all though, because on the rear window, Corning slipped an electronically controlled opacity film between the layers of glass. With the push of a button, the window went from crystal clear to a dark tint. That’ll surely come in hand if you feel the sudden need for privacy.
“By bringing Corning Gorilla Glass to the automotive industry, Corning is delivering lighter, tougher, and more optically advantaged solutions, enabling improved fuel efficiency, and a safer, more enhanced user experience for both drivers and passengers,” said Marty Curran, executive vice president at Corning. “Corning’s leading position in mobile device cover glass has provided an excellent launch pad for glass solutions enabling smartphone like connectivity in cars. We are excited to be demonstrating all of these new technologies and opportunities in a custom-built connected car, shown for the first time at CES.”
Corning didn’t talk prices at CES, but a car fitted with Gorilla Glass is likely to demand a noticeable premium over a car that isn’t. Will it be worth it? Let us know in the comments below.