Cadillac is the latest automaker to develop a digital rear-view mirror and the first to commit one to volume production.
The technology will make its production debut on Cadillac's new 2016 CT6 flagship, which is expected to come to market late in 2015.
The Cadillac system will add high-resolution streaming video to the function of a traditional rear-view mirror, removing the visual obstruction of passengers, headrests and the vehicle’s roof and rear pillars.
The display is said to provide rearward vision that's roughly four times greater than that of a standard rear-view mirror.
“The closest comparison to this kind of rear vision would be driving a convertible with the top down,” said Travis Hester, Cadillac CT6 executive chief engineer.
A rear-facing HD camera is designed specifically to enhance rear view lane width and maximize low-light situations and a water-shedding hydrophobic coating on the lens is said to keep it clean and maintain visibility regardless of the driving conditions.
The camera’s video feed is said to reduce glare and provide a crisper image in low-light situations, compared to a traditional glass electrochromatic auto-dimming rear-view mirror. The mirror display is a 1280 by 240-pixel TFT-LCD display with 171 pixels per inch.
If they wish, drivers can disable the mirror’s video streaming function by flipping the toggle on the underside of the mirror to revert it to a traditional electrochromatic rear-view mirror image. Doing so dramatically illustrates the expanded field of view provided by the digital mirror.
Cadillac says 10 patents have been awarded to the technology – one for the streaming video mirror and nine for video processing.
Audi and Nissan also have experimented with digital mirror technology in race cars and limited production applications.