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    HomeArticleInterview: Ben Jensen, Vantablack inventor and founder of Surrey NanoSystems

    Interview: Ben Jensen, Vantablack inventor and founder of Surrey NanoSystems

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    What was your first thought when you were approached with the idea of providing the BMW X6 with a Vantablack paint finish? 
    Ben Jensen: To be honest, we received inquiries from most of the big-name automotive manufacturers, almost from the day we launched the original material in 2014, but we’d always said no. This was also due to the fact that we only had a suitable material once we came up with VBx2. When we were approached by BMW, we were still quite hesitant to begin with. But the new X6 looked so incredibly different that it just felt like a really good fit.

     
    Interview: Ben Jensen, Vantablack inventor and founder of Surrey NanoSystems | VANDI4U
    Have your expectations been met?  
    Jensen: I think it went beyond all our expectations. The BMW X6 in Vantablack looks absolutely fantastic. We also realised that it wouldn’t have worked if we’d put on the original material, as the viewer would have lost all sense of three-dimensionality. VBx2 with its one-per-cent reflectance provides just enough of a hint of shape. Add to that the contrast between the matt black surface and details such as the Iconic Glow kidney grille, the headlights and the windows – everything is just set off beautifully.

     

    Interview: Ben Jensen, Vantablack inventor and founder of Surrey NanoSystems | VANDI4U
    Hypothetically speaking, could you imagine Vantablack VBx2 becoming a regular paint finish option for people buying a car in the future? 
    Jensen: I think it worked really well on the BMW X6, because of the size of the car, its distinctive shape, and how imposing it is. But putting a paint like that on a conventional car lacking a distinctive design would probably detract from it in some way. In addition, developing a Vantablack VBx2 car paint durable enough for daily use is a huge technological challenge.

    Interview: Ben Jensen, Vantablack inventor and founder of Surrey NanoSystems | VANDI4U
    However, Vantablack already has an important role in advanced automotive technology … Jensen: Indeed, the material is now being used more and more in various types of, laser-based sensor equipment for driver assistance systems and technologies for autonomous driving, for instance. That is because incident sunlight can cause a degradation of performance in these systems as well. A Vantablack coating eliminates these issues and results in increased safety.
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