Curves and Bends Ahead: Tesla secures patent for curved windshield glass with ‘aggressive feature lines’

Toronto, Ontario — Tesla has some unique plans for the Cybertruck windshield, according to a patent filed to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)—and it’s pretty mind-bending.

A patent titled ‘Automotive Glass Structure having featured lines and related methods of manufacture’ was granted on January 19, and explains that heat can be used (i.e., applied to the glass) at certain locations so the Cybertruck windshield can be bent to achieve curvatures between 2mm and 5cm. The EV automaker also said the windshield could incorporate “additional layers of curved or joined glass…to form a curved multi-layer glass structure for automotive use.” The patent says that, typically, only a smooth, high radius of curvatures (between one metre and three metres or more) are used for automotive glass structures.

“An example method [in the patent] includes applying localized heat [e.g., via a laser, heating element] to a location of a substantially planar glass structure and bending the glass structure at that location [e.g., along a line of the planar glass structure] to form a feature line in the glass structure,” reads the patent. “The techniques described herein. May allow for forming glass structures with aggressive curves or folds.”

Bends in the glass could be between five degrees and 120 degrees, or between 45 degrees and 60 degrees. Glass pieces may also be connected using adhesive.

“This adhesive may be similarly locally heated to allow for aggressive feature lines.”

The patent suggests that tools like lasers, heating resistors (e.g., tungsten wire, rod), flame, plasma radiative (e.g., diode) could be used to provide the required heat for the bending process.

Cybertruck production will begin 2024. Production was originally scheduled for late 2021, then pushed to 2022.

Tesla recently promised the vehicle would be in production by the end of 2023 before pushing the date to 2024 during Tesla’s Q4 2022 earnings call Friday.

What do you think about the prospect of repairing curved glass? What about the use of adhesive to connect the glass? Let us know what you think re: repairability in the comments.


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