LED display transforms nature of rear view mirror
Car manufacturer Audi has decided to put into production a new kind of rear view mirror technology, replacing the simple reflective surface of the past with an LED display that is linked to a rear-mounted camera.
There are already cars on the market which have backward facing cameras, but these setups are exclusively used to help drivers park.
Audi's intention is to completely replace rear view mirrors altogether, instead using a clearer and safer LED display to feed constant visuals to the driver while still sitting in the same place as the traditional technology.
The 7.7 inch LED display is provided with a video feed from a specially mounted camera in the rear and the arrangement should be safer because the lens actually provides a wider field of view to the driver so that they can see what is behind them with a better degree of fidelity.
The camera sits in a heated socket so that cold weather will not affect it and it can even eliminate the dazzle of the headlights, which means night time driving should also be safer.
Audi actually equipped its recent Le Mans-winning electronic R18 with this technology, because the lack of a rear window meant that a conventional mirror would not cut it.
Now this hardware is making its way into commercially available models, harnessing an Organic LED display from Samsung which consumes very little energy and is thus efficient.
The fact that this system has been put through its paces during the 24 hour Le Mans race means that buyers should be confident in its ability to work well in everyday conditions.
It will probably take a little getting used to, but mounting an LED display in place of a rear view mirror makes sense when safety is involved.