Using cameras in place of a car’s rearview mirrors has long been a feature of pie-in-the-sky concept cars, although so far, it’s failed to translate into the world of production vehicles. But Nissan is about to change that with its new Smart Rearview Mirror. The specialty of this camera-equipped rearview mirror is it beams live video to your eyeline.
The problem with existing rearview mirror technology is that the line of vision through regular mirrors is often blocked by the car’s styling, rear-seat passengers, or oversized headrests. So, Nissan has built the Smart Rearview Mirror, the world’s first LCD monitor that not only provides clear rearward visibility under various conditions, but also allows the driver the ability to switch between the LCD monitor and the traditional rearview mirror, depending on the driver’s preference.
The Smart rearview mirror is housed within the structure of the rearview mirror, with a built-in LCD monitor that can be activated in place of the conventional mirror. There is a 1.3-megapixel narrow-angle camera mounted on the rear of the vehicle. The camera projects a clear image onto the monitor to provide the driver with a better view for a more comfortable driving experience.
An additional feature of the Smart rearview mirror is the versatile switch function. Operated by a control located at the bottom of the mirror, the driver can utilize the traditional rearview mirror system, or with a simple flip of a switch, gain an unobstructed rearward view behind the vehicle embedded on the LCD display.
In addition, the Smart rearview mirror can provide a crisp clear image in a variety of environmental conditions including rain, snow, dawn and dusk. The high-quality camera and image processing system implemented in the LCD monitor consistently results in a clear image with minimal glare, even during sunrise or sunset conditions or when being followed by a vehicle with strong headlights.
Nissan will introduce the Smart rearview mirror at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. And Nissan plans to make it an option for everyday cars starting with Japan this spring. Drivers worldwide will get the camera-equipped rearview mirror in 2015. Here’s a video of the technology.