April 11, 2014 marks the U.S. debut of Nissan's Smart
Rearview Mirror, the world's first LCD monitor that helps provide clear
rearward visibility unimpeded by traditional obstacles such as cargo, tall
passengers, inclement weather or the design of a vehicle. 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.
According to a company press statement, the Smart
Rearview Mirror is installed in an all-new 2014 Rogue that would be showcased at
the Nissan stand at the upcoming New York International Auto Show. The Smart
Rearview Mirror allows the driver to switch between the LCD monitor and the
traditional rear view mirror, depending on the driver's preference.
Built in shape like the conventional rear view mirror,
the Smart Rearview Mirror has a built-in LCD monitor that can be activated in
place of the conventional mirror. A high-resolution camera mounted on the rear
of the vehicle provides the driver with a clear, unobstructed view of the rear
Thus some of the shortcomings of the traditional rear
view mirror disappear with the new mirror. The camera projects a clear image –
a wider and clearer view than a standard mirror - onto the monitor for a better
view, as well as a more comfortable driving experience.
A switch function, operated by a control located at the
bottom of the mirror, allows the driver to access either the traditional rear view
mirror system or the Smart Rearview Mirror.
"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," said Andy Palmer, Chief Planning Officer and
Executive Vice President of Nissan.
"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," he said.
In addition, the Smart Rearview Mirror can provide a
clear image in different climatic conditions including rain, snow, dawn and
dusk. The high-quality camera and image processing system implemented in the
LCD monitor consistently results in a clear image with minimal glare, even
during sunrise or sunset conditions or when the vehicle is being followed by a
vehicle with strong headlights.
The Smart Rearview Mirror is equipped with a newly
developed, high-performance, narrow-angle camera and a specially shaped LCD
monitor, with a unique aspect ratio of approximately 4:1, versus conventional
monitors' 4:3 or 16:9. Matching a standard wide-angle camera lens to this
monitor could not be done since the images from the camera, when adjusted to
the special monitor size, produced a low-resolution image with insufficient
To overcome this challenge, a 1,300,000 pixel narrow-angle
camera was developed so that picture quality would not be sacrificed when
formatted for the specially designed monitor.
When the LCD monitor and mirror are used in unison, the
transparency of the monitor and the reflection in the mirror can create an
image overlap – a dual layered effect – making it difficult to get a clean
view, but with the Smart Rearview Mirror, Nissan applied a special technology
to the structural design of the LCD monitor and the mirror, enabling it to
function without any image overlaps.
Nissan plans to implement the Smart Rearview Mirror in
the ZEOD RC, an experimental race car scheduled to compete in the 2014 24 Hours
of Le Mans, as well as other NISMO race cars.