Innovation can improve people’s lives in many ways, not least by creating products that reduce the environmental load while making daily life more comfortable.
M7 is the name of the future SNCB (Belgian rail company) double deck trains. These trains will be built by a consortium made of Alstom Valenciennes (head motor cars) and Bombardier Bruges (passenger cars), second worldwide train manufacturer. The first trains should be put into service in 2018. A first firm batch of 445 cars will be built up to 2021 and the SNCB has an option of 917 additional cars to be built between 2021 and 2028.
The AGC mission to help improve people’s lives with innovative solutions sometimes goes beyond products. A recent example is the AGC Automotive Replacement Glass (ARG) sponsorship of Huma’Venture – a non-profit organisation that gives volunteers an adventure while at the same time helping deprived children.
AGC Innovation of the Month for June is Leoflex™, a chemically-strengthened specialty glass with the promise of a big future. Because it is five times stronger than conventional thermally-tempered soda lime glass, it creates the opportunity to produce thinner glass – and therefore glass which is much lighter in weight.
With summer approaching, we start to notice the “heat island” effect in our cities: higher street temperatures caused by the absorption of heat from the sun. The problem is that this extra heat encourages the formation of photochemical oxidants, which cause more air pollution. To fight this heat build-up, some cities use heat-shielding material on paved surfaces, although these tend to wear out quickly with the abrasive effect of heavy traffic.
Although motorists have taken big steps in recent years to improve road safety, such as using seat belts and not drinking when we drive, the next great leap forward in safer driving is coming from ADAS – Advanced Driver Assistance Systems based on sensors, cameras, radar and light detection & ranging technology linked to the on-board computer (see AGC February News: “Meet ADAS…”).