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Nissan Smart Rearview Mirror Wins 2014 Traffic Safety Achievement Award

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Nissan Smart Rearview Mirror

See how the Nissan Smart Rearview Mirror works

Some inventions are so simple yet so ingenious they can make the people of the world collectively slap their foreheads and wonder “Why hadn’t I thought of that?”

The Nissan Smart Rearview Mirror is one such invention. Despite not yet existing on a production vehicle, the World Traffic Safety Symposium has already named it the recipient of the 2014 Traffic Safety Achievement Award at the New York International Auto Show.

Nissan Smart Rearview Mirror

The view on the Nissan Smart Rearview Mirror

The idea is tantalizingly simple: instead of using a mirror to reflect the ongoings at the back of the car, the Nissan Smart Rearview Mirror uses a camera. This allows a wider, clearer view of the rear that can’t be obstructed by tall backseat passengers, stacked cargo, or even the interior shape of the car. This will not only greatly enhance safety but even allow automakers to come up with fancy new designs that weren’t previously possible.

Nissan Smart Rearview Mirror

Switch back to a traditional rearview mirror at the flip of a switch

That being said, if you somehow find yourself wishing you still had a traditional mirror—maybe to keep an eye on the kids—you can always revert to it at the flip of a switch.

Nissan expects to introduce the Smart Rearview Mirror in Japan later this year. Until then, it’ll continue to optimize the technology with high-quality cameras and anti-glare image processing systems.