The rearview mirror has been a staple in big trucks for as long as big trucks have existed. Now engineers at Daimler are investigating the feasibility of replacing them with cameras.
The MirrorCam from Daimler replaces the rearview and wide-angle mirrors that cover large areas of the truck. It swivels an image from the camera mounted toward the inside of the bend of the vehicle so that the driver has the end of the trailer in view. The system is set for standard semi-trailers, but it can be regulated individually.
Advantages over standard mirrors include improvement of aerodynamics and visibility. And it’s possible to heat cameras on cold and damp days to provide a clear, condensation-free view.
Additionally, the MirrorCam features distance indicator lines to help drivers estimate the distances behind the truck. Three fixed lines are shown together with a line that the driver can adjust to mark the end of the vehicle before starting a journey. This can be used in combination with the displays for the assistance systems.
The light transmission of the camera is high and results in light that is brighter than natural light, so drivers receive better information about its surroundings. It works both on the open road and in tunnels. When it is completely dark outside, the MirrorCam will show only the areas illuminated by the vehicle itself.