Honda has confirmed that its Honda E urban electric vehicle will be fitted with side cameras instead of conventional door mirrors when it comes to market in 2020. The technology, a first in the compact segment, brings significant benefits for styling, safety, aerodynamics and refinement. The side camera mirror system replaces conventional side view mirrors with compact cameras providing live images to two sixinch screens inside the vehicle. These screens are integrated at either end of the dashboard, ergonomically positioned to ensure a natural feel and vision for the driver.
Unlike conventional side mirrors, the cameras are contained within the width of the car and do not extend beyond the wheel arches. As a result, not only is visibility improved, but also the compact cameras reduce aerodynamic drag by around 90% compared to conventional door mirrors – an approximate 3.8% improvement for the entire vehicle that benefits the car’s efficiency and range. Furthermore, there is a significant reduction of wind noise that is normally generated by side mirrors at higher speeds.
The camera unit housings are also deliberately shaped to prevent water drops on the lens, with a waterrepellent coating on the lens surfaces to deter any other residual water build up. The optimal positioning of the side 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. Further benefits are experienced when reverse gear is selected, guidelines appear on the side view screens in addition to an enhanced camera angle, expanding visibility.
Brightness levels on the interior displays are automatically adjusted based on the prevailing light conditions. Extensive testing and development have been undertaken to ensure the side camera mirror system delivers superior visibility in poor weather, lowlight and nighttime 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.
Honda’s new compact electric car is a bold step for the brand in terms of design and technology and forms part of the brand’s strategy to feature electrified technology in all cars it sells in Europe by 2025. It will feature a competitive range of over 200km (124 miles), ‘fast charge’ functionality providing 80% range in just 30 minutes.