We're used to seeing toughened glass on our phones and tablets, where it protects screens from chips and cracks. BMW, however, plans to use the substance on a much grander scale -- the automaker just revealed that its upcoming i8 hybrid will be the first mass-produced car to use hardened glass. The currently unnamed material will reduce noise and weight in windows behind the windshield. As BMW doesn't have to use thick glass to maintain strength, it can produce acoustically damped windows that weigh half as much as they would otherwise. We'll have to wait until the i8's arrival in 2014 to see how well this component choice works on the road, but it could lead to a future of lighter cars that still offer quiet interiors.
Filed under: Transportation