Installing a camera instead of a conventional side mirror it’s an act of courage. Audi did it with the e-tron electric SUV, and now another electric car is using the same solution.
Honda has confirmed that the Side Camera Mirror System of the new Honda e urban electric vehicle will be available as standard when the car enters production. As seen on the prototype version, the technology is a first in the compact segment.
The Side Camera Mirror System replaces conventional side view mirrors with compact cameras providing live images to two six-inch screens inside the vehicle. Integrated at either end of the dashboard, these ergonomically positioned screens ensure a natural feel and vision for the driver.
The next-generation camera technology helps the car retain a modern, clean and simple design, and complements the stepless A-pillars and flush ‘pop out’ door handles, also confirmed for the production version of the Honda e. Unlike conventional side mirrors, the cameras are contained within the width of the car and do not extend beyond the wheel arches.
As well as improving visibility, these compact cameras reduce aerodynamic drag by around 90% compared to conventional door mirrors. The result is an approximate 3.8% improvement for the entire vehicle, contributing towards the models overall efficiency and range. Furthermore, there is a significant reduction of wind noise compared to normal side mirrors at higher speeds.
The shape of the camera unit housing is designed to prevent water drops on the lens. A water-repellent coating on the lens surfaces deter any other residual water build up.
The optimal positioning of the Side Camera Mirror System cameras delivers a host of safety advantages. The driver can choose between ‘normal view’ and ‘wide view’ via the vehicle settings, extending the field of vision further than with conventional side mirrors and reducing blind spots by around 10% in normal view and approximately 50% in wide view. When selecting reverse gear, guidelines appear on the side view screens in addition to an enhanced camera angle, expanding visibility.
Brightness levels on the interior displays automatically adjust based on the prevailing light conditions. Extensive testing and development has been undertaken to ensure the Side Camera Mirror System delivers superior visibility in poor weather, low-light and night-time conditions with no dazzle or glare. This provides drivers with greater clarity and awareness of surrounding objects than conventional side view mirrors in all conditions.
The production version of the Honda e will be unveiled later this year, and customers can make a reservation for priority ordering online at https://reserve.honda.co.uk/en/reservation.