The popularity of automotive paint colors changes all the time. Jane Harrington, head of PPG's design group, stopped by the Roadshow booth at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show to tell us what her company thinks is going to be hot and on-trend in 2018. What's more, she also talked about how self-driving technology could impact future paints and finishes.
PPG is an auto industry leader in automotive paints, coatings, and materials.
Based on the prevalence of oranges and reds, Harrington says copper tones are going to be the ones to watch for this year. Add in the growing popularity of tinted clear coats that makes these already-bright hues appear even deeper and more rich-looking. Blues are also growing in popularity with Ford and Subaru taking the crown for most pleasing blue hues.
Perhaps even more interestingly, Harrington and Roadshow Editor-in-Chief Tim Stevens also talked about PPG's research into the world of high reflectivity paints designed specifically for autonomous vehicles. She explains that there is some concern that lidar may not be able to accurately read dark paint colors because of the way they absorb light, and PPG hopes to combat that through new formulations. PPG is also working on coatings for the lenses of autonomous vehicle cameras that will work to prevent dirt and bugs from sticking to them, thus reducing their effectiveness.
The future is looking pretty shiny over at PPG, but Jane and Tim cover a bunch more ground, so check out their conversation in its entirety in our video.
Update, 1:14 p.m.: More details and context added about PPG and new paint finishes related to self-driving cars.