Rainy windshield of red classic car

Glass is used for windshields to protect passengers from the elements and potential flying objects.

©iStockphoto.com/William Britten

What good is a car if you can't see out of it? As with rubber, glass is one of the unsung heroes of automotive manufacturing. It's also heavily linked to the auto industry -- when business drops greatly for automakers, glass manufacturers also experience job losses [source: Glass Magazine].

Glass is used in many areas of your car. Obviously, its primary use is to create windshields so you can see properly while remaining safe from any airborne objects. It's also used to create rear and side-view mirrors to boost your view of what's around you while driving. In addition, its cousin fiberglass is also commonly used in auto manufacturing as an insulation material on cars.

However, as technology advances, glass is also being used to create more innovative parts on cars. For example, it can be used to create navigation screens and lenses for back-up cameras to allow drivers to have an even better view of what's behind them.

For more information about automobile manufacturing and the materials involved, see the links on the next page.