General Motors has taken the wraps of a new streaming video technology that will provide the driver an improved field of vision in the rear-view mirror. The new technology will become available in next year's flagship sedan Cadillac CT6.
The technology consists of a wide-angle camera mounted on the car's rear deck lid near the license plate box that will provide a high-resolution video feed of the lanes behind the car to help the driver see beyond normal blind spots, such as headrests, passengers and rear pillars. The camera, which was supplied by Sharp, has a lens covered in a water-shedding hydrophobic coating that protects it from water and dust to continuously provide maximum visibility even during extreme conditions.
The camera is connected to a Gentex-developed rear-view mirror, which toggles to an LCD display of the video feed at a resolution of 1280 x 240 to give the driver a field of vision that is four times greater than that provided by a standard rear-view mirror. The video feed also has a high dynamic range that would allow it to reduce glare and increase brightness in low-light situations better than a special auto-dimming rear-view mirror would.
"The closest comparison to this kind of rear vision would be driving a convertible with the top down," said Travis Hester, executive chief engineer of the Cadillac CT6. "In addition to the increased field of view, the technology eliminates any rear seat, rear pillar or passenger obstructions, allowing the driver an unimpeded view of the lanes behind and traditional blind spots."
Cadillac is positioning its still-to-be released flagship sedan against other flagships by European rivals BMW AG and Mercedes Benz, which are leading the race for sales in the global market.
In a conference call in October, General Motors global product chief Mark Reuss introduced the rear-view mirror to investors, which he said is among the numerous innovations that will make its way in the CT6. Others include an in-floor sound system from Bose and rear-seat connectivity options.
"Wouldn't you love to have a car that didn't have any obstruction when you looked in the rear-view mirror?" Reuss said. "[It] doesn't cost a lot of money to do something like this, but it's very innovative, very creative."
However, Cadillac isn't the first to come up with a video rear-view mirror. Earlier this year, Nissan unveiled its Smart Rearview Mirror, a similar technology that is set to go to market next year.
The Cadillac CT6 and will debut at the New York Auto Show in March next year. It will become available in American markets later in 2015.