Audi was facing a big problem as it finishes development of the new R8 e-tron. The battery-electric version of its 2-seat supercar has no back window – which makes it a little useless to offer a rearview mirror, at least a conventional one.
Instead, the maker is dipping into its motorsports tool kit to come up with the same digital “mirror” used on its R18 endurance racer, the same vehicle that recently won LeMans. An advanced, 7.7-inch organic LED screen will effectively recreate the image of a traditional rearview mirror – while adding in a few neat, high-tech tricks, such as the ability to block the glare from headlights.
Rear-mounted cameras have become commonplace in today’s cars, helping motorists safely back out of parking places. But the Audi system won’t simply move the image from the center stack-mounted navi screen to the mirror. The R8 e-tron will provide a much more detailed and more accurate image than available from current backup cameras.