Feds Approve Rear View Video Camera Mirror for Cadillac CT6, Chevy Bolt
General Motors worked with a company called Gentex to develop their “Full Display Mirror” system for use in the Cadillac CT6 and the Chevrolet Bolt. This system uses rear view camera and a screen in the rear view mirror to display what is behind the vehicle in the same way as a normal rear view mirror, except the camera system does away with the interior obstructions in the cabin – including the inner roof and rear window frame.
This Full Display Mirror system for the Cadillac CT6 and the Chevrolet Bolt looks like a great system, but it had to meet the approval of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration before GM could begin installing it in new production vehicles. Fortunately, the feds have given this technology the greenlight; although it does have some fine print.
If you have driven a vehicle with a back-up camera system, you are likely familiar with the advantages of a camera and monitor over backing up with the rear view mirror. When you look in your rear view mirror, you often have things obstructing parts of your vision. The heads of rear-riding passengers, rear headrests and cargo can get in the way of many vehicles’ rear view mirrors. Also, in many vehicles, the shape of the roofline and the rear window cut into what you can see through the rear view mirror.
On the other hand, there is nothing obstructing a backup camera in normal driving conditions, and that is why it seems like such a brilliant design for the new Cadillac CT6 and Chevrolet Bolt.
Imagine looking up at the rear view mirror of your new Cadillac super sedan or your new Chevy EV and you can see literally everything your vehicle. Even if you have the back seat filled with balloons, you will have full view for safer driving.
The only downside that I can see to GM’s Full Display Mirror camera system comes from my experience with many new vehicles with backup cameras. In rainy weather or snowy winter weather, the backup camera and many vehicles quickly gets so dirty that you cannot see anything at all. Should that happen to the Full Display Mirror, you won’t be able to see anything in the rear view mirror – but that is why the NHTSA has made a few requirements for vehicles with these rear view camera mirror systems.
First, the rear view mirror system has to have a traditional mirror function in addition to the camera view. This way, when the camera does get dirty, Cadillac CT6 and Chevy Bolt drivers can flip the switch for a traditional rear view mirror mode.
Second, the NHTSA stated that while the rear view mirror can utilize a camera system, the exterior side mirrors are to remain traditional reflective style, so in case the high tech mirror inside fails – drivers will still have basic mirrors on the outside.
Now that the NHTSA has approved General Motors’ Full Display Mirror rear view camera system, we will almost certainly see other automakers quickly jumping on this new trend. Since literally every automaker has the backup camera in their arsenal, it is only a matter of designing rear view mirrors with the integrated screen for other vehicles.
For a closer look at how the GM Full Display Mirror system works, check out the Gentex video below. The example of how the system works comes at 1:15, for those who don’t want to listen to the discussion in the video.