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Nissan smart rearview mirror

Again something from the automobile industry. Nissan developed a smart rearview mirror that sounds really like a help. Where the traditional rearview mirror is mounted they integrated an LCD display that shows information from a camera implemented on the top edge of the car’s back window. The driver can choose if he want to use the traditional mirror or the camera based smart rearview mirror. Therefor he simply uses a switch on the low edge of the mirror.

Nissan claims that the camera and image processing is in such a quality that it works adequate in various weather conditions. Here it would be interesting to try it out. A video from Nissan looks promising, you can see how the digital image on the rearview mirror adapts from daylight to light in a tunnel. But the video also shows that the camera needs a short while to adapt, and seems to have a bit problem with the strong backlight from the tunnel opening – the contrast is different from normal human vision and I’m not sure if it is adequate for a driver to gain trust into the system. Have a look yourself in the video below, the critical scene starts at 1:50 . In general it should not take too long to adapt so that the driver can rely on the information in critical situations.

Another thing that came into my mind is that the camera based mirror cuts off a certain area behind the vehicle. Perhaps it would be an advantage to let the driver know how much that is.

Even if not the camera based system sounds like it brings the driver a safety advantage if passengers are sitting in the rear of the car or if luggage is blocking the view through the back window. In those situations the driver easily gets an unobstructed view when switching to the rearview camera.


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