After making its world debut earlier this year in Geneva, Nissan's new "Smart Rearview Mirror" technology recently premiered in the United States as part of a specially equipped 2014 Nissan Rogue. The introduction took place at the New York International Auto Show, where Andy Palmer, chief planning officer and executive vice president of Nissan, said that: "Smart Rearview Mirror will give our customers the best possible view no matter how tall the passengers in the back seat or how bad the road conditions. It also offers the possibility of new and exciting designs for our upcoming models, ensuring that appearance no longer has to be compromised for visibility and functionality. We'll have the flexibility to create new shapes and to further improve aerodynamics for better driving dynamics and fuel efficiency."
Getting a bit more specific here, the system incorporates a high-mounted, high-res video camera that is located at the back of the 2014 Nissan Rogue show vehicle and can deliver a rearward view unobstructed by the C-pillars or any other interior obstacle, including a particularly tall rear-seat passenger. The video feed is projected through an innovative LCD screen that is located within the new rearview mirror housing, with drivers able to toggle between traditional rearview mirror functionality and the enhanced Smart Rearview operation. As a notable bonus, the system also provides significantly improved rear visibility in poor weather conditions, thanks to image-processing technology developed to reduce glare and "see through" inclement weather.
Unfortunately, folks shouldn't expect the Smart Rearview Mirror on the 2014 Nissan Rogue production models anytime in the immediate future, as the technology is still being validated by the automaker’s engineers—who will be putting the system to an especially severe test this summer when the electrifying Nissan ZEOD RC racecar joins the field at this year's 24-hour endurance race at Le Mans.
Added Shoichi Miyatani, president of Nissan's NISMO racing department: "Under the harsh driving conditions in the world of motorsports, retaining a clear view for the race driver is of utmost importance. In that sense, the Smart Rearview Mirror will be a powerful tool for our Nissan NISMO drivers. Also, we have high expectations towards improving the cars' aerodynamic design, thanks to the Smart Rearview Mirror, thereby expanding the possibilities of race cars to a new level."
The retail version of the 2014 Nissan Rogue does have a standard Rearview Monitor, however, and is on sale now for $22,790.