Windscreens are designed to crack but stay in place, even if shattered by some flying object.
When they are crazed, however, screens are very hard to see through -a driver is supposed to react quickly and punch a hole big enough to allow the car to be brought safely to rest.
This is difficult because of the need to keep holding the steering wheel.
Today’s invention is therefore a small, spring-loaded hammer, located on the dashboard in front of the driver.
A camera, looking through the screen, has its imagery analysed every few milliseconds to detect one thing: -evidence of the crazing pattern characteristic of windscreen damage.
If this is spotted, the hammer is fired against the inside of the screen, creating a hole large enough to see through.
(The hammer blow would be calibrated so that it could only break a crazed window, just in case of accidental activation).