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GM looking at panoramic windshield that bleeds into the roof, like Lucid and Tesla

  • Future vehicles from GM might have a windshield that is part of the roof
  • The Tesla Model X and the Lucid Air feature this design
  • The windshield might be made from a composite material rather than glass

Future General Motors products could bathe their occupants in sunshine courtesy of panoramic windshields that extend all the way into the roof, a patent filing indicates.

Titled “Structural Panoramic Windshield and Roof,” the patent application was published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) June 18, 2024, after being filed by GM May 26, 2022. It describes a transparent roof section that meets up with the windshield to create the appearance of a continuous piece of glass, similar to the Lucid Air or Tesla Model X.

General Motors panoramic windshield patent image

However, GM chose to keep a conventional front cross member for the windshield and panoramic roof section to attach to, in both cases with polyurethane adhesive like conventional windshields. The cross member avoids the problem Tesla faced in mounting sun visors in the Model X, which required a complex armature arrangement to swing the visors out from the sides of the roof because there was nowhere else to put them.

The panoramic roof section would also feature electrochromic tinting, which would allow it to go from opaque to transparent by running electric current through conductive material embedded in the roof panel. Similar features are already available on vehicles like the Lotus Eletre electric SUV, Maserati MC20 Cielo convertible, and recent McLaren Spider models.

General Motors panoramic windshield patent image

General Motors panoramic windshield patent image

GM also notes in the patent document that the roof panel could be made from composite material, potentially to save weight or help lower a vehicle’s center of gravity.

The 2024 Cadillac Celestiq features a different high-tech roof design, with four glass panels that allow the driver and passenger to individually set the level of transparency. While it does leverage GM’s Ultium EV hardware, the Celestiq is a low-volume luxury flagship with a price tag north of $300,000. The windshield and roof design shown in this patent application might be usable in more mainstream models.

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