Nissan's Smart Rearview Mirror Isn't Blinded By Passengers or Cargo

Have you ever been hesitant to over-pack a vehicle with luggage or passengers because it would obscure the sightline for your rearview mirror? Nissan's Smart rearview mirror solves that problem by alternately displaying a live video feed from a camera mounted on the back of the vehicle.

Rearview cameras of course aren't new in the automotive world, they've been used on large buses for decades, and many passenger vehicles employ them as backup cameras these days. But the live feed is usually fed to a display on the dashboard. Nissan is making it accessible on the rearview mirror with the push of a button.

Set to be officially introduced at the upcoming 2014 Geneva Motor Show and then made available as an option for 2015 vehicles, the system required Nissan to develop an LCD display with a 4:1 aspect ratio so that it fit inside a standard rearview mirror. And at any time the driver can switch off the feed from the camera allowing it to be used as a conventional rearview mirror. Because sometimes it's just as important to know what's going on in the backseat of your car, as it is what's going on behind it. [Nissan via SlashGear]

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I'll admit, this is pretty cool and a smart implementation of the technology. On the other hand, it's yet another gadget to make our cars more expensive. And I think it's detrimental to good situational awareness.

Of course, this is all leading up to the inevitable, which is self-driving cars. And while I want to claim I'm not happy with that prospect I have to admit that I'm looking forward to it. Who can argue with quicker commutes where you don't have deal with inconsiderate and incompetent idiots? Not having to face masturbating train conductors is another plus.