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Old 18th September 2009, 03:42   #1
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Default Transparent car/ A-pillar technology to reduce road accidents

The front page of the Chennai edition of Indian Express dated 17.Sep.2009 has the photo of a car with a transparent body at the stand of car parts manufacturer TRW during the 63rd International Motor Show in Frankfurt on September 16, 2009. :: The NewIndian Express ePaper ::

While a fully transparent car may not be of much practical use, a car with a transparent A-pillar will definitely reduce the chances of an accident. Many present day cars have a thick A-pillar which creates a blind spot in the front for the driver. Driver visibility - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

How difficult is it for manufacturers to make cars with a transparent A-pillar? It goes without saying the all round visibility will be improved if all the pillars are transparent; however this is likely to intrude on the privacy of the occupants.

PS: I am not sure if I can save the photo and upload it due to copyright issues.

Last edited by Murugan : 18th September 2009 at 03:48. Reason: Removed font tags
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Old 18th September 2009, 11:53   #2
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I am not sure if this thing can be practically implemented or not. A-pillar is one of critical components for safety as it forms a very important part of passenger shell. Its next to impossible for any car manufacturer to produce a car with similar structural integrity with a transparent A-pillar.
I am not aware if material stronger than metal are available for such applications, but currently its not possible to have transparent A-pillar. The thick A-pillar we have now in almost all cars is a result of tough safety requirements.
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Old 18th September 2009, 13:05   #3
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I think that well placed camera's + LCD displays integrated into the dash will be a more practical and MUCH cheaper option..
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Old 18th September 2009, 13:31   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AbhiJ View Post
I think that well placed camera's + LCD displays integrated into the dash will be a more practical and MUCH cheaper option..
volvo cars have done some work in this direction. I don't have the pix of that but it was showcased in some car show too. it was on their hatchback concept.
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Old 18th September 2009, 13:44   #5
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A pillar is a support pillar. Making it transparent will involve the use of materials other than the normal zinc coated mild steel.
Also, lets remember that using glass for this may be impractical unless there are two thinner steel pillars and a small sheet of glass (like a quarter glass) incorporated in between.
the other way may be to move the A Pillars a bit back and create a wider curved sweep of the front windshield itself which will aid vision considerably.

in case they use some semi transparent or transparent hard and non shatter plastic, it will be liable to scratches as well as cause distortion on account of its different refractive index - this is more chaotic in my opinion.
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Old 10th December 2009, 11:23   #6
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Volvo has created a concept car which has hollow metallic A-pillars filled with a transparent glass material, thus taking care of visibility as well as strength.

Check out this link:

http://www.mccofnsw.org.au/cgi-bin/u...ile=1&file=181

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Old 10th December 2009, 13:56   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AbhiJ View Post
I think that well placed camera's + LCD displays integrated into the dash will be a more practical and MUCH cheaper option..
I think making the A pillar less intrusive in the driver's vision could be a better solution. I would certainly be distracted if I had to check with an in-dash screen instead of just looking out and around myself.

Is it a design problem ? I personally think the peripheral vision in a Premier Padmini is much better than an i10.
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Old 10th December 2009, 14:04   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rohan_iitr View Post
Volvo has created a concept car which has hollow metallic A-pillars filled with a transparent glass material, thus taking care of visibility as well as strength.

Check out this link:

http://www.mccofnsw.org.au/cgi-bin/u...ile=1&file=181

Rohan,
Bangalore
Creating a lethal danger to motorcyclists?? They are already a lethal danger to themselves, I guess...
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Old 10th December 2009, 14:12   #9
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There are plastics which are stronger than steels, Kevlar being the best example. I am not sure about strong transparent plastics available on the market, but there is a transparent plastic made from titanium and zirconium being developed. I would presume these would be extremly expensive and just not feasable to make 'A' pillars out off. Well not for now atleast.
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