Nissan will use this week’s New York Auto Show to debut an advanced ‘Smart Rearview Mirror’ system that could one day replace the traditional rear-view mirror.
The new technology sees the main interior mirror replaced by a mirrored high-resolution LCD display, connected to a camera mounted at the rear of the vehicle.
The system is tipped to offer a far greater viewing perspective than conventional mirrors, by removing visual obstacles like passengers, body pillars and rear cargo.
The system also allows the display to be used as a conventional rear-view mirror, just as current in-mirror displays (such as that offered on some Kia models) only appear when the reverse gear is engaged.
Nissan says the system will also deliver a clear image in a variety of conditions, including rain or snow, while enhancing or dimming the image depending on the available light.
Announcing the system this week, Nissan vice president Andy Palmer said the technology could also allow greater freedoms in the overall design of future models as in-built visibility becomes less of a priority.
“[Smart Rearview Mirror] 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,” Palmer said.
The new system will make its ‘on road’ debut with the ZEOD RC racing car at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, followed by a Japanese market debut later this year.
Nissan says the technology will begin to appear in global markets over the next few years.
We can likely expect to see other brands introduce similar systems in the near future, with America’s Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers lobbying to have side mirrors replaced with cameras in future models.
The AAM says replacing side mirrors with small digital images inside the cabin would reduce drag and wind noise in future models, while making the vehicle narrower and eliminating low-cost claims and repairs caused by damaged mirrors.