I’ve not experienced this particular problem – with one exception – but I can well imagine that others have: a driver’s rearward visibility is marred by cargo, tall passengers, inclement weather, or what have you. Not good.
Nissan is offering a solution – a Smart Rearview Mirror that combines a newly developed narrow-angle camera and a specially shaped LCD monitor.
The monitor has an aspect ratio of approximately 4:1, versus conventional monitors’ 4:3 or 16:9. Nissan said it couldn’t match a standard wide-angle camera lens to the monitor since the images from the camera were of insufficient resolution and image quality when adjusted to the special monitor size. So it developed a 1,300,000 pixel, narrow-angle camera able to provide the necessary image quality.
The monitor is integrated into a traditional rearview mirror, and with a control at the bottom of the mirror, a driver can switch between traditional and Smart. Compared with a standard mirror, the camera projects a wider and clearer view and, Nissan suggests, a more comfortable driving experience.
No Glare from Bright Headlights
The Smart Mirror can provide a clear image, with minimal glare, in all kinds of weather, and during sunrise or sunset or when the vehicle is being followed by a vehicle with bright headlights. That’s where my eyes light up: driving at night with headlights glaring in my rearview mirror is not a lot of fun.
“Smart Rearview Mirror will give our customers the best possible view no matter how tall the passengers in the back seat or how bad the road conditions,” said Nissan executive vice president and chief planning officer Andy Palmer.
“It also offers the possibility of new and exciting designs for our upcoming models, ensuring that appearance no longer has to be compromised for visibility and functionality. We’ll have the flexibility to create new shapes and to further improve aerodynamics for better driving dynamics and fuel efficiency.”
Nissan installed the monitor in a 2014 Rogue on display at the New York Auto Show. It’s planning to introduce the Smart Rearview Mirror to global markets over the next few years after an initial rollout to Japanese customers this spring.