Can dirt and rain negatively affect the images provided by MirrorCam?
When it comes to dirty mirrors and condensation on windows, the MirrorCam system has numerous advantages compared to conventional rearview mirrors. Thanks to the position of the cameras high up on the vehicle, the small cover extending over the camera lens, a special coating and the digital transmission of the image to a display in the driver’s cab, fogging and dirt have virtually no impact on the performance of the system. Equally useful on cold and humid days is MirrorCam’s heating system, which kicks in automatically at temperatures below 15 degrees Celsius.
Many users have complained about noise degradation of the image at night. Is the camera system at a disadvantage compared to a conventional mirror system at dusk or dawn, or at night?
No. In fact, MirrorCam performs better in residual light situations, that is, at dawn or dusk. The cameras are designed to be very light‑sensitive. This allows the monitors to display a brighter image than what is actually out there. This provides the driver with more visual information about the surroundings than a normal mirror would. In addition, the brightness of the image automatically adjusts to the ambient light continually – preventing the driver from being blinded by bright lights. All of this works equally well on the open road and inside tunnels. Of course, in total darkness MirrorCam will also be able to depict only those areas that are illuminated by the vehicle itself. But that is no different with conventional mirrors. With MirrorCam, our development team tuned the system in such a way that it provides as much visual information as possible, and right now this does still produce a slightly noisy image
Speaking of image quality: why is the picture on the monitors not as sharp as on my smartphone?
In the development team, we see the established viewing habits of drivers as more important than pixel density: with the large monitors measuring 15.2 inches diagonally, the displays of the MirrorCam roughly correspond to the conventional shape of mirrors. This allows drivers to estimate the distance and speed of a following vehicle by the size and the change in size, just as they have always done. It’s true that many smartphone displays have an insanely good resolution, but there you hold the device in your hand, the distance from the eyes is small, and the monitor is small, so this is a bit like comparing apples with pears. The MirrorCam displays, by comparison, are much further away, and the greater the distance, the less detail our eyes can make out. Which means, in my view, that it is simply not necessary for MirrorCam to have the pixel density of a smartphone. The other important thing to note is that MirrorCam represents a key safety system, and for this reason it has been designed for utmost reliability. It has successfully passed all the prescribed approval procedures. Given the current state of the technology, a smartphone would fail those tests.