By Michael Kunigonis, Vice President and General Manager, Corning Automotive Glass Solutions
2019 has been a busy year for Corning Automotive Glass Solutions. At the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, my team and I introduced the industry’s first AutoGrade™ Gorilla Glass. Six months later on July 10, we opened our new manufacturing facility to produce the industry’s first large-part AutoGrade™ cover glass solutions. Since January I’ve received and seen a lot of people asking what exactly AutoGrade™ Gorilla Glass is and why we developed it.
Here’s the quick story.
One of the major trends for in-car technology is connected cockpit displays that are larger, longer, and shaped. We saw this trend prominently at CES 2019 with BMW’s iNext and Byton’s M-Byte. Increasingly, it is the "dashboard" or "cockpit" that is the one sizable integrated interface that both defines the user experience and the emotional connections people make with their cars, which now play a large role in car-buying decisions. In a sense, these displays are looking to replicate a “mobile device experience” inside the car.
That requires glass.
Using glass for smart displays and touchscreens inside cars makes a lot of sense. Glass offers exceptional thermal and dimensional stability. It has superior clarity and doesn’t scratch or yellow like plastic. It’s also aesthetically pleasing and has that signature sleek touch-feel. In sum, the auto industry needs advanced technical glass.
But use of this glass goes beyond general aesthetics and poses unique new challenges. To be "car-ready," the glass has to meet stringent damage- and impact-resistance requirements, especially in its final shape or application. Even today’s leading consumer electronic cover glasses aren’t optimal.
So, we've combined our leadership in the display and consumer electronics industries with our deep technical expertise in glass science and have applied all three to the auto use-case. AutoGrade™ Gorilla Glass is a relative of the Gorilla® Glass you have on your smartphone or tablet, but it’s been optimized as a cover glass for automotive displays.