Car mirrors haven’t changed much since, well, forever, and over the years, cars have gone from zero to at least three mirrors in less than 100 years. However, technology is about to change those tried-and-true, rear-looking mirrors. Gentex, an automotive supply company, and Aston Martin are partnering to develop a new camera monitoring system for future Aston models, combining traditional mirrors with a robust and flexible camera system.
The two collaborated on the design with Aston providing styling and engineering direction. Gentex worked to integrate the cameras, software, and mirror-integrated display. Gentex then partnered with Lumatech to engineer the exterior mirrors. While a full-camera setup is possible, Aston is opting for a hybrid system that would allow drivers to use their vehicle’s traditional mirrors. This also allows drivers to customize the viewing experience to their preference, using cameras or mirrors.
The key to Gentex’s camera system is its Full Display Mirror, which can function as a standard auto-dimming rearview mirror or an LCD. The system also allows for the system to meet field-of-view regulations set by different government agencies throughout the world thanks to the use of flat or curved glass, depending on the location. The cameras also move when the driver readjusts the view of the traditional mirror.
Aston and Gentex will showcase the new camera technology in the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera at CES in Las Vegas, which kicks off next week on January 7. However, it won’t be the only place to see the technology. Gentex recently began shipping its Full Display Mirror for Aston to use in the DBS GT Zagato the automaker revealed earlier this year.
It’ll be a long time, if ever, until cameras replace traditional mirrors on vehicles. Hybrid systems that leave the conventional mirror as a fail-safe will be the norm until the technology becomes reliable enough for automakers – and consumers – to ditch traditional mirrors. Maybe by then, autonomous cars will rule the road, and mirrors will become irrelevant.