Volkswagen Is Releasing a Smart Climate Windshield, and, Sadly, I’m Getting Older

How in the hell does this thing work?

January 26, 2017 9:00 am

Listen up. Because I’ll only say this once: I’m getting older.

I can tell not because my hangovers last until 7 p.m. Well, ok that. But not only that.

It’s because I get annoyed with newfangled, quite amazing, technological advancements that make life easier.

Case in point: Volkswagen’s new climate windscreens.

A wire-free alternative to embedded electrical filaments that traditionally heat windshields, the VW windscreen uses a transparent layer of conductive silver slipped between the glass. The silver layer radpidly warms the glass while defrosting it. Not only that, but the windscreen also has heating filaments along the bottom to warm the wiper blades to prevent them from freezing to the window. And as a bonus, the layer reflects back 60 percent of infrared light coming through to keep the vehicle cool in the summer.

When I was growing in the spirit-crushing winters of the Midwest, it went something like this: I started my car 40 minutes before I wanted to leave. Afterwhich, I would use a $5 scraper that was destined to break (in which case, I would use a spatula) to chip the ice and then scrape it away.

And now the Internet tells me that for $365 I can have this smart silver windscreen as an option on the Golf, Golf Sportsvan, Tiguan, Sharan, Passat and Passat variants.

Which means a whole generation of drivers won’t have to excavate their wipers, which are certain to be clad with ice at some point or another. Nor will newbies know that once upon a time you had to be careful not to snap off your wipers, which definitely never happened twice in one month to your correspondent. 

And that’s a shame. Because I think that hellish routine was character building. And that is how I know I’m getting old.

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