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Car Tech Spotlight: Honda Odyssey multi-angle rearview camera

Three different views get you an even better idea of what’s behind you.

By Douglas Newcomb Nov 23, 2012 10:30AM

Honda Odyssey multi-angle rearview cameraThese days, rearview cameras are available on many cars. And a proposed U.S. DOT mandate calling for rearview cameras on all cars to reduce the risk of “backover” injuries and deaths could soon make this feature standard equipment on all new vehicles sold in the U.S.

A more recent trend is placing cameras all around the car, as with Range Rover’s Surround Camera System, Nissan and Infiniti’s Around View Monitor and BMW’s SideView and TopView cameras. A 2012 Honda Odyssey I recently tested comes standard with a single camera, but a multi-angle view feature shows a normal view as well as wide-angle and top-down views that can be changed at the touch of a button.

And the multiple views are particularly helpful on a vehicle as large as the Odyssey.

As you can see in the video below, the normal view gives the driver a good sense of what’s behind the vehicle, while the wide-angle view opens up the frame much more. The top-down view comes in handy when trying to line up a trailer with a hitch on a vehicle.

While the Odyssey’s multi-angle rearview camera doesn’t provide as comprehensive a view as some of the systems mentioned above, you also don’t have to pay a lot more to get it — with the exception of the Around View Monitor in, say, a 2013 Nissan Pathfinder.

The multi-angle rearview camera comes standard in the Odyssey Touring Elite model I tested, which had a sticker price of $44,485. It’s also standard on the Touring model that starts at $41,430 and on the EX-L model with the Satellite-Linked Navigation System that starts at $37,125. By comparison, the Around View Monitor is standard on the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum edition, which starts at $39,170.

But as rearview cameras proliferate and eventually become standard equipment, a feature like the Odyssey’s multi-angle capability will likely become more common across all vehicle segments. And with the tragic number of backover deaths each year — not to mention expensive fender-benders that occur from not being able to properly see behind a vehicle when backing up — a better view can quickly pay for itself.

Nov 26, 2012 11:03AM
I have a back up camera on my Highlander and it makes hooking up to my boat and ATV's a fast, easy, one person, one stop deal. I will never be without one again!
  I have to assume that you other bloggers have never had one because they are very convenient for not only hooking up a trailer but when you are backing up in the dark and cannot just look over your shoulder.
  I agree that some of the new technology is ridiculous but this isn't one of those cases.

Nov 25, 2012 8:24AM
I agree with you on this one fairfireman21.
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