Most Americans are used to having rearview cameras in their vehicles as the device makes driving in reverse both easier and safer. As a matter of fact, the US government understands the importance of assist systems like this that it issued a rule last month, requiring all new cars and light trucks to be equipped with backup camera with dash screens to prevent drivers from accidentally backing over pedestrians, pets and other stray objects while they drive in reverse. The said rule will go into full effect on May 2018.
The rearview or backup camera is just one proof that technology has a far-reaching implication in the safety of auto operation. Nissan aims to take this concept a notch further with the introduction of its revolutionary “smart rearview mirror.”
There is nothing really special about the looks of the smart rearview mirror as it has that conventional rearview mirror appearance that drivers are familiar with. So where does the “smart” concept fit into the picture? With a flip of a switch at the bottom of the mirror, an LCD screen is activated, showing a clear view of what is behind the car. What makes it even more special is that the mirror automatically removes common visual obstructions from the picture, such as tall passengers, headrests, baggage, etc. This in turn warrants safer vehicle operation no matter how bad the road condition may become.
The camera of Nissan’s rearview mirror has been designed to operate even during inclement weather. It also works well in minimizing glare from the sun as well as from the headlights of a vehicle from behind.
Andy Palmer, chief planning officer for Nissan, said that their smart rearview mirror opens up a possibility for new and exciting designs for future models. This ensures that there will be a perfect balance between the mirror’s aesthetic, visibility and functionality. He also added that the device provides a lot of room for them to develop new shapes and further enhance its aerodynamics for better driving performance and fuel efficiency.
Nissan also has plans to integrate the smart rearview mirror on its NISMO race cars. Given that a clear rear view is crucial to ensuring the safety of race car drivers, NISMO president Shoichi Miyatani said they expect that the smart rearview mirror will aid in improving their cars’ aerodynamic design.
The smart rearview mirror complies with federal regulations, which currently requires that mirrors be of specific sizes and should be added to vehicles at certain points. While many automakers are calling for these regulations to be changed for years now, hoping that traditional vehicle mirrors will be replaced with better and sturdier camera systems, Nissan successfully complied with these requirements by combining the best of both worlds.
Nissan’s smart rearview mirror is about to be installed in vehicles in Japan this spring. US drivers, on the other hand, can get their first in-person look at the device at the New York Auto Show, which runs from April 18 to 27. The mirror will be available in the market by 2016.
Photo credit: nissannews.com