Audi's digital rear-view mirror moves from racetrack to R8 e-tron production vehicle
Audi's digital rear-view mirror that will make its production debut in the R8 e-tron
Audi’s digital rear-view mirror, which made its debut in the R18 e-tron Quattro and R18 ultra race cars at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, is set to enter small scale production at the end of this year in the Audi R8 e-tron. Unlike previous rear-view mirrors from the likes of Ford, Toyota and Mazda, which dedicate only a percentage of the mirror’s surface area to displaying vision from a rear-view camera, Audi’s digital rear-view mirror does away with the conventional mirror altogether.
The “mirror” consists of a 7.7-inch AMOLED display from Samsung that displays digital images captured from a small camera mounted on the rear of the car. The camera is positioned in an aerodynamically optimized housing that is heated in cold weather to ensure the lens doesn’t fog up. This lens, which has a diameter of just a few millimeters, covers a larger field of vision than is provided by a conventional rear-view mirror.
Audi says the AMOLED display produces a high contrast image with an intelligent control system used to cut the dazzle from headlights in following vehicles. Drivers can also dim the display or turn it off all together if they wish – although you’d have to question whether this is wise, or even legal in some parts of the world. Audi is also planning to display additional information on the digital rear-view mirror in the future.
The technology’s first appearance in a production vehicle will be in the R8 e-tron, which is entering production at the end of this year. Based on the first e-tron concept car shown in Frankfurt in 2009, the R8 e-tron is an obvious choice for the introduction of the digital rear-view mirror as it has no rear window.
About the Author
Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.
All articles by Darren Quick
Can this be the lead in to improve on the side mirrors, maybe even eliminate the blind spots, and get rid of the side mirrors altogether, not to mention slicker aerodynamics..
I like the way you're thinking Bob. Put the side displays inside, on their respective sides of he cabin. (or on either side of the instrument cluster cowl) I think I'd still want mirrors for redundancy on the outside tho.
Since the "mirror" does not need a direct view through the rear window there is no reason to keep it in a position that can interfere with the drivers vision.
I put this in my jetta long ago and i also didnt like it up there so i mounted the little screen to stick out of the little box shaped indent on the dash. Only draw back was that now i couldnt see the people in the backseat. Which weirded me out cos phillip alone knows what they are up to just sitting there behind my back. Side mirrors were gonna be my next mission but space is a problem and the brightness of the display tended to glare up my glasses. If i could have three huds on the bottom of the windscreen that would be good plus my camera was also infrared which meant i could now see farther behind me than i could in front. A touch screen moulded led dash thats what i want. Audi quit screwing around with ancient tech and flip the script, do a flip like hondas civic and make us a sexy spaceship!
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