Sunday, March 2, 2014
Nissan Develops "Smart Rearview Mirror" for Clearer Visibility
Nissan Motor Company, has announced the development of the Smart rearview mirror, the world's first LCD monitor that not only provides clear rearward visibility under various conditions, but also allows the driver the ability to switch between the LCD monitor and the traditional rearview mirror, depending on the driver's preference. Nissan will introduce the Smart rearview mirror at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.
The Smart rearview mirror is housed within the structure of the rearview mirror, with 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 the driver with a clear unobstructed view of the rear flanks, allowing the ability to check blind spots and other traffic conditions. The camera projects a clear image onto the monitor to provide the driver with a better view for a more comfortable driving experience.
An additional feature of the Smart rearview mirror is the versatile switch function. Operated by a control located at the bottom of the mirror, the driver can utilize the traditional rearview mirror system, or with a simple flip of a switch, gain an unobstructed rearward view behind the vehicle embedded on the LCD display.
The Smart rearview mirror provides a wider and clearer view when compared to a standard mirror. The LCD monitor provides unobstructed images of the rear flanks, making traditional obstructions associated with traditional rearview mirrors, such as C-pillars, a non-issue. This helps the driver grasp the traffic conditions within the area in a much more efficient manner.
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 crisp clear image in a variety of environmental 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 conditions or when being followed by a vehicle with strong headlights.
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.
Also, conventional monitors possess an aspect ratio of 4:3 or 16:9, but these traditional-sized aspect ratios could not adequately be displayed in a rearview mirror. Therefore, an LCD monitor with a unique aspect ratio of approximately 4:1 was developed.
Nissan plans to implement the Smart rearview mirror in the ZEOD RC that is scheduled to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and other NISMO race cars.
Nissan is planning to introduce the Smart rearview mirror to global markets in 2015. The plan is to offer the product as a dealer option this spring in the Japan market.