Redesigning the Rearview Mirror - Nissan Thinks Outside The Box
Blindspots have long plagued the driver's range of vision through a passenger vehicle's rearview mirror. A driver can easily miss seeing a child who is standing or moving behind the car. A small person, bicycle rider, skateboarder or wheelchair bound senior can unfortunately be invisible to the driver who is shifting into reverse, exiting a driveway, or backing out of a garage. The problem is even worse for SUVs and trucks, which have a high chassis. On this blog, we have previously reported on the potential for accidents and other unintended consequences. See "Backing Up Into Tragedy," posted October 23, 2013.
Now Nissan reports that it has totally re-examined the ordinary rearview mirror, which has, up to now, been constructed of reflective glass. Not only is the current design vulnerable to the vehicle's own blindspots, it is frequently blocked by passengers or personal belongings piled in the back seat of the car. The new development is still in the testing stage. But this lateral thinking approach to an age-old design is promising. You can read about Nissan's new approach to the problem here.
Not only will the new, improved rearview mirror systems prevent accidents, but the potential for higher resolution from a camera image will provide a better view of everything: tailgating drivers, that pothole you just drove over, or the highway patrol car that seemed to come right out of nowhere and is now following attentively right behind.