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. Nissan
is looking to change that, though, with its new Smart Rearview Mirror
With a flick of a switch, drivers can jump back and forth between what they'd normally see through the rearview mirror and the camera's feed from the back of the car.
The Smart Rearview Mirror
blends everything we know about traditional reflective glass mirrors with a video feed from the rear of the car into a form factor that's immediately recognizable to the average motorist. With a flick of a switch, drivers can jump back and forth between what they'd normally see through the rearview mirror and the camera's feed from the back of the car. The mirror itself features an integrated LCD display
with a four-to-one aspect ratio.
Nissan is no stranger to this sort of visibility technology. Its AroundView
system remains one of our very favourite features in the company's cars and SUVs, particularly its larger vehicles. We'll admit we're intrigued by the technology, especially if, as engineer Yuichi Tazaki explains, Nissan can develop a way for the camera to eliminate rear headlight glare when driving at night. The question is, will this sort of technology ever reach North America?
Nissan claims this new tech will see a rollout to "global markets" in 2015, although whether that includes Canada or the USA remains uncertain. "As a global car company, we have the ability to tap into a lot of technologies," Nissan spokesman Dan Bedore tells Autoblog Canada
. "[Smart Rearview Mirror] is something we'd be interested in, but we don't have a North American-specific announcement." We're also left wondering if a technology that soaks up the entire standard rearview mirror image in favor of a video feed is legal under Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. We've seen other production mirrors that integrate rearview camera displays, but they have always left the lion's share of the mirror's reflective element in place at all times.
The Smart Rearview Mirror will get tested out at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in Nissan's ZEOD RC racer
. Its debut, though, will be this week at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show
. Take a look below for a video of the mirror in action
, as well as a press release
on the new tech from Nissan.