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Nissan Showing Its Smart Mirror at New York Auto Show

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On: Thu, Apr 17, 2014 at 3:16PM | By: Chris Weiss

Nissan Showing Its Smart Mirror at New York Auto Show

In a few years, all new cars will be required to have rear-view camera systems, based on a recent ruling by the NHTSA. Nissan's getting a head start by showing its new Smart Review Mirror in the US for the first time at this week's New York International Auto Show. Equipped on a Rogue crossover, the dual-mode mirror combines traditional mirror view with an LCD display showing video feed from the camera mounted in back.

The idea behind the dual-mode Smart mirror is to give drivers the option of taking advantage of a rearview camera when there are obstructions, such as a fogged windshield or glare. The LCD screen turns on at the flick of a switch located on the bottom of the mirror.

Rearview cameras are already a reality, but typically they use the car's infotainment screen to display the image. In fact, Nissan's own Rearview Monitor is set up like this. The Rearview Smart Mirror, on the other hand, incorporates the image into the familiar format of the rearview mirror, combining manual mirror and LCD views.

"Smart Rearview Mirror will give our customers the best possible view no matter how tall the passengers in the back seat or how bad the road conditions," says Andy Palmer, a Nissan executive VP. "It also offers the possibility of new and exciting designs for our upcoming models, ensuring that appearance no longer has to be compromised for visibility and functionality. We'll have the flexibility to create new shapes and to further improve aerodynamics for better driving dynamics and fuel efficiency."

The last point is an interesting one. Nissan hasn't been afraid of experimenting with unique designs like the BladeGlider, and it sounds like it plans to continue work in that direction. By eliminating the physical constrictions of rear visibility, it opens up new design possibilities. We expect to see some very interesting Nissan concept cars over the next few years.

In terms of camera, the Smart mirror system uses a newly developed high-resolution camera mounted on the tailgate of the show Rogue. The camera's narrow-angle lens ensures a high quality image in the 4:1 ratio LCD.

After showing the New York Auto Show, Nissan plans to equip its ZEOD race car with the Smart mirror, testing it during races such as the24 Hours of Le Mans. It plans to offer it globally within the next few years.

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