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Anti-Reflective Coatings for Transit Bus Windshields

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Transportation Safety – Anti-reflective Coatings for Transit Bus Windshields

Researchers at the Fraunhofer USA Center for Coatings and Diamond Technologies, The Mackinac Technology Company (MTC) and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute were awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II Department of Transportation grant to develop an anti-reflective windshield coating for transit bus windows. Transit buses operating at night are required to maintain interior illumination whenever passengers are onboard. This interior lighting reflects off the windshield and obscures the driver’s vision. The problem of windshield reflection creates a hazardous situation, which is being addressed in this research program. This two-year project aims to develop a thin film coating technology capable of reducing the glare on bus windshields and started in September 2014. During the previously performed Phase I of this project, the team demonstrated that an innovative ultra-low refractive index material made of amorphous “diamond-like” carbon (DLC) could be deposited in nanometer thin layers to the surfaces of windshield glass to significantly reduce reflection of visible light and improve driver vision. The awarded Phase II project will build on this success to advance the technology toward a commercial product by applying the coatings to full-size transit bus windows.

DLC coated transit bus windshield section. Left half of sample is uncoated.

                 DLC coated transit bus windshield section. Left Half of sample is uncoated.