Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

RoofScope lets you keep an eye on your car-top cargo

By

June 10, 2014

The RoofScope mounts on the hood, and is viewed from the driver's seat

The RoofScope mounts on the hood, and is viewed from the driver's seat

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If you carry a boat, bicycle or pretty anything else on the roof of your car, you probably spend a lot of time wondering if it's still securely in place up there while you're driving. The problem is, there's no way of seeing it without stopping and getting out of the car ... unless you have a RoofScope, that is.

The RoofScope is simply a wide-angle mirror that you stick on the hood of your car using an attached vacuum mount cup. You subsequently angle it in such a way that it allows you to see your roof-top cargo from the driver's seat, then you lock it in place. There's no more need to sneak peeks at your car's shadow or reflection in windows, nor do you have to try angling one of the wing mirrors all the way up (which doesn't work, by the way).

The device reportedly stays securely attached and properly angled at highway speeds

The device reportedly stays securely attached and properly angled at highway speeds – there's no word on how it affects mileage. As a side benefit, its presence on the hood should help remind drivers that they're carrying a load on top, so they don't smash that load into things like garage doors or other overhead obstacles.

The RoofScope has been available online since January, although its UK-based designers have now turned to Kickstarter to fund larger-scale production and a new-and-improved model. A pledge of £30 (US$50) will get you one, when and if the funding goal is met.

You can see it in use, in the video below.

Sources: RoofScope, Kickstarter

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
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7 Comments

Or you could watch your rear view mirrors, hey that's my $1500.00 GT RTS the car behind me just ran over. And there is no way I would risk marring the paint on my 30 year old Audi URQ with a suction mount.

Bill Bennett
10th June, 2014 @ 06:40 pm PDT

or you could look up through the sunroof :)

ash
11th June, 2014 @ 01:13 am PDT

Seems very dangerous, its not a permanent mount and suction does leak away over time (or rather air will leak in) - unless the seal is 100% which it cant be.

Also it might be considered a modification that changes the risk of injury to pedestrians in a crash - so could even make the car illegal to use on the road.

Sorry - Not such a smart idea!

An alternative design would be a mirror than can be mounted on the rear of the vehicle which can be viewed via the normal rear view mirror and pointing up at the roof. Like an aft reversing mirror but pointing upwards.

or just a small camera pointed at the roof, could even detect if the item has moved.

Brian M
11th June, 2014 @ 02:01 am PDT

Could always just secure the load properly in the first place.......

Grunt
11th June, 2014 @ 05:38 am PDT

Pointless why would you want to do this? If its secured properly you don't need to worry. What a waste of time. Obviously if anyone has one they don't trust themselves.

RichardU
11th June, 2014 @ 07:35 am PDT

One more item to hide out of sight when stopping for a break.

Perhaps a better solution would be to have a powerful magnet in the centre of a suction cup attached to the rear window and the load on the roof-rack via a cord. On the inside of the window could be a two way reed-switch that comes on when the magnetic field is removed which would happen if the load fell off and took the suction cup with it. Connect that to an alarm and you would understand why all the cars in the rear-view mirror were suddenly going in all directions for some reason.

Having used a roof-rack a considerable number of times, I think the best thing I ever did was learn the lorry drivers' hitch a.k.a. Truckers' Knot (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYZIYMI7BNE) to hold down the items being carried. It never worked loose and they never went astray.

Mel Tisdale
11th June, 2014 @ 08:48 am PDT

Properly securing your load works just as well.

When I fist saw the headline I thought it was going to be a video system to see if your cargo will fit under things. That could be useful.

Slowburn
12th June, 2014 @ 09:08 pm PDT
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