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Cadillac camera mirror sees through your car

Cadillac announces today that its new CT6 model, due out next year, will incorporate a virtual rearview mirror, increasing rear visibility by 300 percent.

Cadillac Rear Vision Streaming Video
Virtual rear view mirror technology from Cadillac, due to launch next year, lets drivers see into blind spot areas.
Cadillac Rear Vision Streaming Video
Virtual rearview mirror technology from Cadillac, due to launch next year, lets drivers see into blind spot areas. Cadillac

Technology continues to upend traditional automotive tropes, as today Cadillac announced its new CT6 model will incorporate an in-cabin rear-view camera for driving. Cadillac notes that the wide camera view increases rearward visibility over a standard rear-view mirror by 300 percent.

Unlike the back-up cameras common in cars today, Cadillac's system replaces the standard in-cabin rear-view mirror with a similarly sized video monitor. The system continuously feeds video from a wide-angle camera mounted on the rear of the car to the monitor.

This system not only gives drivers a wider view to the rear, reducing blind spots caused by pillars, but also lets drivers see through obstructions in the car itself, such as an over-packed cargo area.

Cadillac notes that a toggle on the mirror will let drivers revert to a traditional rearview mirror view. A hydrophobic coating on the camera lens helps keep it clear of water and dirt.

This new feature is set to debut on the CT6, a new large luxury sedan from Cadillac launching in 2015. Cadillac notes its virtual mirror will be available late next year.

Cadillac isn't the first to come up with the idea. Earlier this year, Nissan demonstrated its own virtual mirror technology, which it calls Smart Rearview Mirror. Nissan's mirror technology is also due next year in global markets, according to the company. Given the promise of the technology, it could become as widespread as airbags. However, it faces a potential hurdle in US transportation rules, which bars video sources visible to the driver.

Cadillac shows the difference between a traditional mirror, on the left, and its virtual mirror, on the right. Cadillac