GQA Qualifications Blog

Tuesday 11 November 2014

A car made of glass? Not quite but we’re getting closer

A recent GQA blog article on Smart Glass technology posed the question-“what will they think of next? Here is the answer!

You’re driving along the motorway and gone are the usual blind spots created by your vehicle’s doors, window frames, roof, and floor-you have a totally unrestricted view and can even see the road underneath your feet! The stuff of Science Fiction? No it is a real possibility as technology has been tested and proved to work that could turn your car into a transparent cockpit-technology currently used in some of the multi million pound fast jet aircraft.
 The system is known as retroreflective projection technology, or RPT, and uses a screen coated in 50-micrometer glass beads, which produces a very bright reflection. What’s more, the system uses one projector for each eye, so it can create a stereoscopic effect with a single screen. No special glasses or cinema/TV style 3D equipment is required.
Here’s a quick summary of how it works: The projector directs the outgoing beam to a half mirror in front of the observer. Part of the beam goes on to illuminate the special screen, which reflects most of it directly back through the half mirror and straight into the observer’s eyes.

For those wanting to know more and even see actual video footage of the technology in action go to
As more and more technology gets added to cars the need to ensure replacement Automotive Glazing work is carried out correctly is more important than ever.
Lane departure warning systems are one of the latest additions that an Automotive Glazing Technician has to deal with as part of the replacement process; added to rain, light, and fog sensors, head up displays and cameras for a variety of reasons the need for safety cannot be over emphasised.
The ever changing technology will be incorporated into GQA’s Automotive Glazing qualifications during the upcoming reviews where the views of the Industry, from large UK wide Companies to the sole trader will be considered.
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