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Posts Tagged ‘backup cameras’

Nissan Set to Launch “Smart” Mirror

Could cameras could soon replace conventional mirrors?

by on Jun.18, 2014

The Nissan Smart Rearview Mirror's image is virtually identical to a conventional mirror - but it eliminates obstacles inside the car.

At first glance, it looks like any ordinary Nissan Rogue, but slipping behind the wheel you might notice that the mirror is just a little bit larger, with an oversized black frame that looks a bit like nerdy tortoiseshell glasses.

And despite how you might try to adjust the rearview mirror, the image stays exactly the same – until you flip a small hidden switch. That, it turns out, shuts off the camera mounted near the top of the Rogue’s back window.

What a Concept!

The compact crossover, it turns out, is fitted with a prototype version of Nissan’s so-called Smart Rearview mirror. Set to go on sale in Japan in 2015, it gives the driver the choice of using it as a conventional mirror or, with the flip of a switch, it becomes a video monitor connected to that little camera.  That approach has a number of advantages, according to the Japanese maker. Among other things, the driver’s line of sight is no longer obstructed by backseat occupants, cargo or a narrow rear window.


New Camera-Based Safety System Could cut Fatal Truck Crashes by 20%

DriveCam system designed to “modify” driver behavior.

by on May.06, 2014

The Lytx DriveCam system and others like it will help save hundreds of lives by giving heavy truck drivers one more tool to avoid accidents.

As costs plunge, video cameras are becoming more the norm than the exception in vehicles, and federal regulators going so far as to mandate that all passenger cars and light trucks must be equipped with backup cameras by 2018, a move expected to save hundreds of lives annually.

A new study suggests that video technology could have an equally dramatic impact on the heavy-truck side of the highway. A report by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute estimates the Lytx DriveCam system could reduce the number of fatal bus and truck crashes by at least 20%, saving more than 800 lives a year.

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But whether the DriveCam will be accepted by drivers remains to be seen as it could be seen as little more than a high-tech tattletale. (more…)

New Technologies Allow Motorists to “See” In New Ways

Land Rover unveils “Transparent Hood,” Nissan demonstrates a “smart rearview mirror.”

by on Apr.14, 2014

A diagram of the new Nissan smart mirror system.

It’s always a challenge for a motorist to be sure they can see everything going on around their vehicle, whether backing out of a parking spot or changing lanes.  But new technologies have begun to make that challenge a little easier and safer, with two intriguing new features making their debut at the New York Auto Show later that week.

That includes a new “smart rearview mirror” developed by Nissan, as well as a feature Land Rover is dubbing the “Transparent Hood.”


Tech News!

“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,” said Andy Palmer, Chief Planning Officer and Executive Vice President of Nissan.


Makers Press NHTSA to Replace Side Mirrors with Cameras

High-tech alternatives could soon enter production.

by on Apr.02, 2014

The VW XL1 uses cameras instead of mirrors to allow drivers to see what's behind the vehicle.

When Volkswagen begins delivering the first of its ultra-efficient XL1 coupes by mid-year, motorists will have to get used to the idea of looking at a set of three video screens, rather than rear and side-view mirrors, to see what’s happening around them.

By replacing the traditional mirrors with micro-compact cameras built into the subcompact car’s body, VW designers were able to significantly improve the XL1’s aerodynamics, a critical factor in helping it achieve a record fuel economy of 235 miles per gallon.

High-Tech News!

VW plans to build only 250 of the little cars – and none will be shipped to the U.S., in part, because federal rules require all vehicles be equipped with left and right-side exterior mirrors. But that could soon change. At least, the auto industry is hoping so. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a consortium that includes VW, Toyota and General Motors – as well as start-up Tesla Motors – has petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to begin permitting manufacturers to replace mirrors with digital cameras. (more…)

All New Vehicles Must have Backup Cameras by 2018

Rules finalized requiring makers to install cameras.

by on Mar.31, 2014

Backup cameras are becoming increasingly common but the government made them mandatory for all new vehicles by 2018.

On the heels of a study showing backup cameras save lives, the U.S. Department of Transportation laid out the standards requiring automakers to have cameras on all new vehicles by 2018.

The graduated requirement is for vehicles less than 10,000 pounds. In 2016, 10% of vehicles must have the cameras. That rises to 40% in 2017 and 100% in 2018.

Automotive Insight!

“We are committed to protecting the most vulnerable victims of back-over accidents – our children and seniors,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement today. (more…)

New Study Shows Backup Cameras Save Lives

Adds support for proposed regulations requiring the devices.

by on Mar.13, 2014

A proposed rule requiring backup cameras on all vehicles is likely to be approved on the heels of a new study showing their effectiveness.

A new study adds strong support to a proposed rule that would require backup cameras on new cars and trucks. It shows the cameras are far more effective at spotting children and other obstacles than less sophisticated parking sensors – or drivers using their mirrors.

Backup cameras are already found on many of the latest cars, trucks and crossovers, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has repeatedly delayed announcing formal rules that would make them mandatory – something Congress and President Bush authorized in 2007. That’s despite NHTSA’s own estimate that the devices could save as many as 200 lives a year – including a large number of children under the age of five – inadvertently run over when motorists back up.

Breaking News!

“Right now, cameras appear to be the most promising technology for addressing this particularly tragic type of crash, which frequently claims the lives of young children in the driveways of their own homes,” said David Zuby, executive vice president and chief research officer for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which conducted the new study. (more…)

Feds Delaying Backup Camera Rules

NHTSA posrpone announcement for another 18 months.

by on Jun.21, 2013

Backup cameras are becoming increasingly common but the government still aims to make them mandatory despite the latest delay.

Safety advocates have been handed another setback as the federal government yet again postpones its long-awaited backup camera mandate.

In a letter to Congress, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood said it will likely be as late as January 2015 before the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration can finalize rules requiring automakers to install the devices – which many believe could help save 100s of lives.

The Last Word!

NHTSA has estimated that there are 202 backover deaths in the U.S. each year – including 100 children under the age of five.  Another 14,000 Americans are injured in such incidents.


Last-Minute Delay on New Backup Camera Rules

Final rules still likely before year-end.

by on Feb.29, 2012

A new backup camera rule has been delayed but should be announced before year-end.

The nation’s automotive safety chief has called for a last-minute delay before issuing new rules that could require all vehicles sold in the U.S. to be equipped with rearview cameras.

But in a letter to Congress, Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said he still hopes to have new standards in place before year-end, which indicates the government will almost certainly call for the use of the devices – estimating that if all future cars came equipped with backup cameras as many as 300 lives a year could be saved.

In the Know!

“I now anticipate the department can issue the final standards by Dec. 31, 2012,” LaHood said in a letter addressed to members of automotive safety oversight committees in both houses of Congresses.  The delay suggests it will now be all but impossible to mandate the use of the technology on all cars, trucks and crossover by 2014 as many observers had expected.


Feds May Mandate Backup Cameras

High-tech solution may be only answer to new rear visibility standards.

by on Dec.03, 2010

Backup cameras are becoming increasingly common but may be mandated under proposed safety rules.

Hoping to reduce inadvertent accidents when motorists back up – in particular, when driver can’t see  children standing behind their vehicles, federal regulators are proposing new rear visibility standards that – for all intents – would likely require the use of back-up cameras in most or all cars by 2014.

As many as 300 people are killed each year, and 18,000 injured, in what are known as “backovers,” when a driver can’t see what’s behind a vehicle.  Nearly half those deaths involve children under the age of 5 who may simply be too small to be spotted by even the most vigilant driver.

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“There is no more tragic accident than for a parent or caregiver to back out of a garage or driveway and kill or injure an undetected child playing behind the vehicle,” said U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

The proposed legislation is being named after Cameron Gulbranson, who was killed when his father failed to spot the 2-year-old boy while backing out of the family driveway.


Picking the Perfect Gift for the Tech-Savvy Mom

Forget teenage male geeks, here's the real high-tech drivers.

by on May.06, 2009

Looking for the perfect gift for the tech-savvy mom on Mother’s Day?  Forget flowers.  Think about an iPod or, if your budget can stand it, a new Honda Odyssey.

Those are some of the findings of a new study that defies the conventional wisdom about soccer moms.

“If you think moms are behind the times, think again,” Deb Grieb, an analyst with the research firm, AutoPacific, Inc.  “The stereotypical idea of a mom is someone who just hauls her kids back and forth.  But because they’re on the road more, their need for technology is greater than many folks – especially if they’re a working mom.”

With the weekend holiday in mind, Grieb took a closer look at a group of mothers who truly plug into today’s connected and digitized world.

The Honda Odyssey proves to be the most popular vehicle among these tech-savvy mothers, and by a wide margin, accounting for roughly one in 11 women in the group.  The next most popular model, the Nissan Altima, doesn’t even come close.  That likely makes sense not only because of the predilection among moms for minivans, but because the Odyssey offers a lot of high-tech features, such as backup cameras, power doors and Bluetooth hands-free phone systems.     (more…)