For years, drivers of delivery vans have been reliant on side mirrors to negotiate traffic and parking with technology now coming to their aid in the form of a live view camera feed in the ‘rear view’ mirror.
As the bumper stickers proclaim: “If you can’t see my mirrors – then I can’t see you!”
Ford is introducing a ‘Smart Mirror’ that looks exactly like a regular rear view mirror – but is actually a high-definition screen that clearly displays a panoramic view behind the van. This helps drivers to spot cyclists, pedestrians and other vehicles that may be behind them, even when windowless rear doors or partitions are in the way.
Full Display Interior Mirror shows a live feed from a camera on the rear of the van and features automatic brightness control for optimum visibility in daylight and at night. The system offers a field of view that is twice the width of a conventional rear-view mirror. This helps drivers to be more aware of their surroundings, for example, when approaching roundabouts, changing lanes or checking before merging or turning into side streets.
Ford’s new mirror could be particularly beneficial for delivery drivers making frequent drop-offs in cities, where they are more likely to encounter those on bikes, e-scooters or on foot; vulnerable road users accounted for 70% of road accident fatalities in Europe’s urban areas in 2019.
Ford’s new mirror could benefit fleets by reducing the need for costly accident damage repairs, as well as potentially contributing to lower insurance premiums. Fitting the system may also improve uptime – the time when commercial vehicles are working on the road.