Audi’s R8 e-tron is a fabulous machine set to enter production soon, but its design and packaging prevents it from having a rear window.
To solve this, Audi created the rear-view mirror’s high-tech successor, the digital rear-view mirror, which is based on a camera/monitor system.
Audi’s digital rear-view mirror is said to deliver brilliant images and is due to enter small-scale production in the Audi R8 e-tron at the end of this year.
According to Audi, the small, ultra-lightweight camera is located in an aerodynamically optimized housing which is heated in cold temperatures. It uses a lens with a diameter of just a few millimeters and covers a much larger field of vision than a conventional rear-view mirror.
A color monitor with a 7.7-inch screen diagonal mounted in place of a conventional rear-view mirror is used to display the digital image data from the camera. This AMOLED (Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode) display, which is made by Samsung, is making its debut in a passenger car. The organic materials used in the display are self-illuminating at a low voltage – i.e. they do not require backlighting.
The AMOLED technology has already proved successful in cell phones and similar devices in the consumer segment.
The new displays are more energy-efficient, thinner, and lighter than conventional LCD monitors. Switching times are just a few milliseconds irrespective of the ambient temperature.
The driver can dim or deactivate the display at any time. During the hours of darkness the control system prevents dazzle from the headlights of other vehicles.
Audi is also working on incorporating additional information on the monitor in future.
The digital rear-view mirror celebrated its premiere at the Le Mans 24 Hours in the R18 e-tron quattro and R18 ultra race cars which gave Audi a one-two-three win in the legendary race.