NEW YORK - The U.S. is getting its first up-close look at Nissan's Smart Rearview Mirror at the 2014 New York International Auto show. This is the world's first LCD monitor that helps you see more clearly what is behind your vehicle when you are driving down the road.
"Customers have told us that they want improved rearview visibility while driving, and we think that Smart Rearview Mirror is a solution to do just that," said Anthony Baehner, Nissan Product Planning. "It helps to provide a clear view of what is behind the vehicle, removing obstructions that may otherwise interfere such as headrests, other occupants in the vehicle, and maybe a cargo area filled up with stuff. It takes all of that out of the way and helps provide a much more clear image of what is behind the car."
The Smart Rearview Mirror is housed within the structure of the traditional rearview mirror, with a built-in LCD monitor that can be activated in place of the conventional mirror. It helps to provide a clear image in a variety of conditions like rain, snow, dawn and dusk.
"The camera is mounted on the rear of the vehicle and looks out at what you may not be able to see and passes that along to an LCD that is mounted inside the conventional rearview mirror housing," said Baehner. "With the image processing that the system uses, it actually does a really good job in low light conditions - so, dusk and dawn and night, being able to help provide a more clear, crisp image of what is behind you even when there is not much light out. And it also helps to reduce glare from following headlights."
Nissan mounted this Smart Rearview Mirror in the new Nissan Rogue, but it could potentially be configured in any Nissan vehicles when the technology is available to customers.
"We are studying opportunities to try and install this as original factory equipment, but will be looking at all opportunities to try to be able to bring it to the market," said Baehner.
Nissan says this is innovation for all, but the technology also will be deployed in the Nissan ZEOD RC, an experimental race car scheduled to compete in the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans, as well as other NISMO race cars. Under the harsh driving conditions in the world of motorsports, retaining a clear view for the race driver is a big deal.
"Smart Rearview Monitor will give the customer a little more confidence and a little more comfortable drive while they are operating their vehicle, knowing that they can see a little more of what is following behind them," said Baehner.
Nissan is planning to introduce the Smart Rearview Mirror to global markets over the next few years after an initial rollout to Japanese customers this spring.
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