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Audi's Glimpse into the Future: 2013 R8 e-tron to Debut Motorsport-inspired Digital Rear-view Mirror

Posted by: Jennifer Morand

Audi’s Glimpse into the Future: 2013 R8 e-tron to Debut Motorsport-inspired Digital Rear-view MirrorAudi Mirror

Today’s vehicles have high trunks, small rear windows and thick roof pillars. So, the effectiveness of the rear-view mirror is greatly reduced. Imagine if you will a rear-view mirror that has a 20-percent greater field of view, isn’t hampered by a tall decklid and can see through roof pillars.

Influenced by the sport of racing, Audi has plans to add a digital rear-view mirror into its flagship R8 e-tron when it is introduced in 2013. The mirror has been successfully tested in motorsport at the highest level of racing – The LeMans 24 Hour race. In the e-tron, a tiny high-resolution camera sits just behind the antennas on the roof to capture the rear view and transfer it to a monitor that replaces the traditional rear-view mirror.

While the appeal is no doubt the futuristic and advanced technology, the digital mirror also provides key vehicle safety benefits. The digital rear-view mirror provides outstanding image quality and is "weather-neutral." Inclement weather conditions, such as heavy rain, impair the driver’s ability to clearly view images in rear-view mirrors – which is not an issue with the digital version. Even when a car approaches from the rear with high-beam headlights, the vision is adjusted and the screen negates any glaring effects. With no stone left unturned, the digital screen even has a feature to keep it warm during cold winter months.

This technological advancement has an even greater impact beyond the innovative features and safety benefits: designers now have more flexibility as they’re no longer constrained by the lack of rear visibility – allowing for enhanced design creativity. For more information and the official press release from Audi, click here.

The video below shoes the Audi R8 e-tron setting the record for the fastest lap time for an electric vehicle at the famed Nürburgring and showcases the digital rear-view screen in action.

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