A reflection of the times
THE humble rear-vision mirror could soon be on the way out, with Nissan's luxury brand Infiniti preparing to replace at least one of the trusty reflective glass surfaces with a camera.
Infiniti design boss Shiro Nakamura says the Japanese brand, arriving in Australia in August, is readying a car that will replace the interior rear-vision mirror with a camera that projects the rear image on a screen. He would not elaborate on what car it would appear in but indicated it should be in dealerships within a year or two.
''We can start looking to eliminate this [interior] rear-view mirror because this mirror is not very functional,'' Nakamura says. ''We have been using cameras for quite a long time. We already have four cameras, including a top-view camera.''
He says the camera will give a wider, less-cluttered field of view, bringing safety and functionality benefits. ''Even in the dark you can see clearly.''
There are other potential benefits, such as not having to fit a rear windscreen wiper, reducing cost and weight.
Already, many new cars have reversing cameras but none have replaced mirrors with a camera.
Nakamura says the camera won't look any different to a mirror. ''It looks like a mirror … but what you see is from the camera.''
But he says Infiniti is not immediately looking to replace the exterior wing mirrors with cameras. He says that while it could easily be done, the screens would have to be placed in an unnatural position compared with current exterior mirrors. ''It's technically possible [but] I don't know if people can adjust.''