Continental abolishes rear view mirrors

July 10, 2015 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
No more blind spots, dazzle-free view to the rear and additional driver assistance function, these are just some of the advantages of a camera-based rear view system that soon could displace the conventional rear view mirror trio. With a test vehicle, automotive supplier Continental has demonstrated a near-series design with a camera and display system.

Instead of the familiar rear-view mirror, the driver has two OLED monitors oriented in the usual viewing directions and displaying what is happening at the rear and sides of the vehicle. In addition to giving the driver a wider field of vision, the system eliminates glare, provides traffic situation detection with driver assistance functions, is less susceptible to dirt and dust, makes damaged wing mirrors a thing of the past and gives drivers better vision in poor light and rain, the company enumerates the benefits of the camera system.

Vehicle fuel consumption is also reduced (less wind resistance) – a factor that is relevant in particular for large trucks and buses that typically are equipped with multiple space-consuming mirrors. These mirrors significantly increase the wind resistance and thus the fuel consumption.

Equipped with a High Dynamic Range (HDR) function, the system does away with glare caused by low sun and by other vehicles with high beam. HDR also improves visibility at low light situations.

The system can offer more than just the primary mirror functions. “Instead of the mechanical mirror, we rely on a driver-oriented and holistic human-machine interface (HMI) that opens up the possibility of providing situational instructions on the monitors,” says Otmar Schreiner, Head of Research & Development at Interior Electronics Solutions in Continental’s Interior Division.
If the approval of these camera-monitor systems goes through as planned in 2016, the systems could already be in use in vehicles starting in 2018. The relevant and internationally agreed technical regulation is UNECE R46 (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Regulation 46).

The adaptation of the wing cameras to the chassis was achieved using small, pyramid-shaped housings in the window triangle. The third camera is integrated into the mirror base of the GPS antenna on the roof. The image processing system uses the images created by the three cameras to stitch together a corresponding image for each monitor. In addition to