Audi Replaces Rearview Mirror with Camera and AMOLED Display

June 5, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

In the universe of concept cars, each one is better than the other. But even as the technology gets better along with the style-factor, there is one little thing these cars invariably lack, wing mirrors.

Automakers usually depend on technology instead of convex mirrors to sort out the issue; they just use minuscule cameras that stream video of the surroundings to a central display. Audi is ahead in this innovation now.

At the 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mansat Circuit de la Sarthe in France, three Audi R18 LMP1s will be equipped with an AMOLED display mounted directly above the driver, which provides a live stream from the camera that is placed behind the antennas on the roof.

Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich explains the need for  this innovation. In the past, our drivers had to strictly rely on the outside mirrors when looking rearward. Yet the rear end and the rear wings plus the vibrations that occur at high speeds significantly limit the field of vision of these mirrors, he says.

Briefing on the advantages of this display, Ullrich said that the operation of the mirror is weather-neutral. In contrast, when using outside mirrors, heavy water spray severely impairs the driver’s field of vision when it rains.

Audi has worked out various day and night driving modes. According to Ullrich, the image is superb even when a rival approaches from the rear with high-beam headlights. Also the positioning of the display compliments the ultra-low seating position of the drivers.

Also, spotting and analyzing information from behind easier and less fatiguing. Even at 330 km/h we’re achieving a totally fluid image flow in real-time transmission, says Ullrich.

The intensity of the demands in motorsport, such as at the Le Mans 24 Hours, will cause such a system to mature at an accelerated pace, according to Ullrich. Audi’s motorsport and production arms are working hand-in-hand on the technology.

Ullrich hopes to take back valuable findings from Le Mans 24 Hours to Germany.

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