Aston Martin and Gentex developing tri-camera rearview mirror for future vehicles

The camera-fed rearview display will debut at CES in an Aston Martin DBS Superleggera prototype.

Steven Ewing Former managing editor
Steven Ewing spent his childhood reading car magazines, making his career as an automotive journalist an absolute dream job. After getting his foot in the door at Automobile while he was still a teenager, Ewing found homes on the mastheads at Winding Road magazine, Autoblog and Motor1.com before joining the CNET team in 2018. He has also served on the World Car Awards jury. Ewing grew up ingrained in the car culture of Detroit -- the Motor City -- before eventually moving to Los Angeles. In his free time, Ewing loves to cook, binge trash TV and play the drums.
Steven Ewing
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Aston Martin Gentex camera
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Aston Martin Gentex camera

The Gentex mirror can display three video feeds at once.

Aston Martin/Gentex

While we haven't quite reached the point where cameras are replacing traditional car mirrors, more and more, automakers are using video feeds to help drivers get a better view of the world around them. Backup cameras are now required by law, many automakers offer blind-spot video feeds and companies like Cadillac and Nissan have developed camera-based rearview mirrors. GMC even has camera tech that lets you see through a trailer.

Aston Martin believes it has the next step in this technological evolution. The company on Thursday officially debuted its tri-camera, hybrid rearview mirror setup, which will be shown in a DBS Superleggera prototype at CES 2020.

Developed in partnership with Michigan-based Gentex Corporation, this new setup essentially combines rearview and blind-spot camera technology. The mirror housing can display three different video feeds simultaneously -- one in the middle showing the usual behind-you view, with two smaller screens on either side, fed by cameras housed in the car's side mirrors.

Aston Martin DBS Superleggera gets Gentex's tri-camera rearview mirror

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Just like Cadillac's single-camera tech, should the view become obstructed due to bad weather or a glitch in the system, the rearview mirror can default to a traditional reflective setup. What makes the Gentex system interesting, however, is the ability to function in a hybrid mode, where drivers can use a combination of standard mirror and camera views.

The companies say their system can also be adapted to offer curved glass, "to meet the various regulatory field-of-view requirements around the world," according to a statement. Finally, this tech has an auto-adjustment feature that alters the video views from the exterior mirrors should the driver change the mirrors' position.

It's unclear exactly when this tech will make its way into production Aston Martin vehicles, but the British automaker's partnership with Gentex is already up and running. Gentex created a full-display rearview camera mirror for use in the 2020 Aston Martin DBS GT Zagato, which uses a single-camera setup, like the aforementioned Cadillac system.

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