Aside from automatic dimming features and built-in compasses, little has changed with the rearview mirror of a car since... well, forever. Audi is on the verge of changing all that when it the all-electric Audi R8 e-tron goes into production later this year. The lack of a rear window in this zero-emission sports car gave Audi an opportunity to bring some automotive technology from the racetrack to the showroom. Audi's digital rearview mirror technology was present on its Audi R18 racecars at the Le Mans 24 Hours back in June, and now it will be assisting drivers in their Audi R8 e-tron street car.
Since electrical drive components are far less sexy than a powerful aluminum engine shrouded with carbon fiber, Audi replaced the R8's rear glass window showing off either a V-8 or V-10 engine with an opaque, louvered panel in the R8 e-tron eliminating all rearward visibility. To combat this problem, the Audi R8 e-tron will have a small camera transmitting its image to a digital rearview mirror inside the car. More than just a back-up camera, this system has to be operational at speed, too, so drivers can see behind them while driving. Audi came up with an intelligent camera and monitor system that not only gives a clear view out the rear of the car, but it was also designed to operate in all conditions to avoid creating a safety issue.