When you come to sign your next contract hire or car lease agreement, what technological advances will you new car boast? The ability to park itself? A voice controlled satellite navigation and audio system?
Now, a leading Japanese manufacturer has developed the world’s first LCD rearview mirror. Nissan has introduced the Smart mirror which provides clear rearward visibility under various conditions, as well as allowing you to switch between the LCD monitor and the traditional rearview mirror. Keep reading to find out more…
New LCD display gives you a better view from the rear of your car
Nissan’s smart rearview mirror is housed within the structure of the rearview mirror and features a built-in LCD monitor that can be activated in place of the conventional mirror.
A high-resolution camera mounted on the rear of the vehicle provides you with a clear unobstructed view from the rear of the car, allowing you to check blind spots and other traffic conditions. The camera then projects a clear image onto the monitor to provide you with a better view and a more comfortable driving experience.
The new technology lets you use a switch located at the bottom of the mirror to toggle between the traditional rearview mirror and the LCD display. You benefit from a wider and clearer view than with a standard mirror.
For example, rearward visibility from conventional rearview mirrors can be obstructed when there are tall passengers in the rear seats, or when luggage is stacked high in the rear compartment. However, with the Smart rearview mirror, rearward visibility is free from in-vehicle obstructions, thanks to the camera mounted on the rear window that displays its images on the LCD monitor built into the rear mirror.
In addition, the Smart rearview mirror can provide a clear image in a variety of weather 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 or when being followed by a vehicle with strong headlights.
New technology gives you the ‘best possible view’
The Smart rearview mirror is equipped with a newly developed high-performance, narrow-angle camera and a specially-shaped LCD monitor. Matching a standard wide angle camera lens to this unique monitor could not be done since the images from the camera, when adjusted to the special monitor size, produced a low-resolution image resulting in an insufficient picture quality. To rectify this challenge, a 1,300,000 pixel narrow-angle camera was developed so that picture quality would not be sacrificed when formatted for the specially designed monitor.
“Smart rearview mirror will give our customers the best possible view no matter how tall the passengers in the back seat, or the road conditions,” said Andy Palmer, Chief Planning Officer and executive Vice President of Nissan.
“It also offers the possibility of new and exciting designs for our upcoming models because Smart rearview mirror is an alternative to a very wide rear window for good visibility. We’ll have the flexibility to create new shapes, and to further improve aerodynamics for better fuel efficiency.”
If you like the idea of the smart mirror then you may have to wait until next year to see it in your lease or contract hire car. Nissan plans to implement the Smart rearview mirror in motorsports cars first including the ZEOD RC that is scheduled to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The company then aims to introduce the Smart rearview mirror to global markets in 2015 after offering the product as a dealer option this spring in the Japanese market.