SABIC is actively working on developing car window technology with integrated lighting features.
SABIC first disclosed its efforts to develop polycarbonate (PC) windows with integrated lighting at the International Symposium on Automotive Lighting (ISAL), held in Darmstadt, Germany 28-30 September. There, SABIC showed a rear quarter window produced through two-shot injection molding with LEXAN and CYCOLOY resins, featuring two sets of decorative lighting components: two blue LED light pipes and a white LED light guide with white laser-etched graphics.
While those elements are largely decorative, SABIC says integrated lighting can serve a variety of functional purposes.
To illustrate one potential use, SABIC released a concept sketch in which a lighting component built into a lightweight polycarbonate window indicates the battery status of an electric or hybrid vehicle, from green for fully charged to red for critical condition. This feature could allow the driver to understand the state of battery charge without any need to enter and start the vehicle.
Beyond using a car window to indicate battery charge status, SABIC says lighting features in windows could also enable new styling and branding solutions and display other kinds of useful information.
Possibilities might include:
- Adding signature lighting or side markers on window surfaces to help better distinguish vehicle models and enhance consumer appeal
- Using colored light for brand enhancement
- Using window lighting to put on a show outside of the vehicle when parked, including projecting patterns or imagery on the ground
- Displaying warning messages
- Displaying dynamic turn indicators and hazard light signals
- Enhancing nighttime safety
- Allowing for animated welcome and goodbye gestures
- Adding ambient lighting features to enhance interiors