Nissan 'smart' rearview mirror offers best of both worlds
Entire surface is an LCD display that can be switched off to reveal a conventional mirror.
Some rearview mirrors have small LCD monitors embedded in them to display an image from a backup camera. But now Nissan has introduced what it calls the world’s first rearview mirror that incorporates a full LCD monitor as well as a traditional mirror, and that offers the best of both worlds by switching between the two.
The LCD built into the mirror housing is connected to a high-resolution camera at the rear of the vehicle. Nissan said this combination eliminates a traditional mirror’s blind spots and the obstructed views caused by a car’s C-pillars. The LCD mirror and camera combination also doesn’t have to deal with other visual impediments such as tall passengers in the rear seats or a cargo compartment stacked with luggage.
The Smart rearview mirror, unveiled this week at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, uses a specially shaped LCD monitor with a 4:1 aspect ratio that’s matched with a newly developed 1.3M-pixel narrow-angle camera. Nissan said the high-quality of the resultant image allows a driver to better see behind the vehicle in a “variety of environmental conditions including rain, snow, dawn and dusk.” Nissan added that built-in image processing helps to keep a driver from being blinded by glare from the high beams of a trailing vehicle.
The mirror’s LCD and conventional mode can be changed by pressing a switch on the bottom of the mirror housing.
Nissan will torture-test the Smart rearview mirror in its ZEOD electric race car that’s scheduled to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June as well as in other NISMO race cars. “Under the harsh driving conditions in the world of motorsports, retaining a clear view for the race driver is of utmost importance,” Shoichi Miyatani, NISMO's president, said in a statement.
Nissan said it plans to introduce the Smart rearview mirror as a dealer-installed option starting this spring in Japan, and then make it available worldwide in 2015.[Source: Nissan]
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