More screens and cameras are headed for Aston Martin vehicles this decade, as Gentex and Aston have just jointly revealed a new tri-camera rearview mirror system. The tech will be on display next week in a 2020 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show.
This tri-camera mirror system is similar to other camera mirror systems on the market today, but there’s a twist. Instead of the whole rearview mirror being one big screen, there are two smaller screens flanking the center display. These two additional screens display a feed from cameras on the car’s two side mirrors. Camera side view mirrors already exist in some cars like the Audi E-Tron and Lexus ES in other markets, but the integration is different. Instead of replacing the side mirrors with tiny camera modules, Aston Martin is keeping the mirrors and simply adding a single camera to each one. Also, instead of displaying the side camera feeds near the A-pillars, it’s routed into the small screens in the mirror itself.
Gentex calls it the CMS (camera monitoring system), and while Aston Martin doesn’t specify which models will get it, we’re told to expect it on “future Aston Martin vehicles.” One of the aspects of this system Gentex stresses is that it’s weather foolproof. Even if salt, snow or rain clouds/blocks one of the cameras, the traditional mirrors are still there to be used as a backup. Vehicles that use camera mirrors exclusively are engineered to make sure the view isn’t inhibited, but Gentex doesn’t want to take any chances with this system. The rearview mirror can function like a normal auto-dimming mirror, too, even though that camera is unlikely to become blocked from its placement just above the rear window. The biggest advantage we see in this setup is that one glance upward can give you a full idea of what’s going on behind and beside you. It’ll require some time in the driver’s seat to decide if it’s too much information and too many screens in one spot. We’ll reserve final judgement when it reaches that point.
Since relying solely on camera mirrors is still not allowed in the U.S., this hybrid system might be the best way to take advantage of the tech. There’s no timeline on production readiness, but anyone in Las Vegas going to CES can see it in action.