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Old 05-28-2009, 01:57 PM   #178 (permalink)
NeilBlanchard
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Video Mirrors

Hi,

Well, I've driven with the video mirrors for a few days now, and I'm close to being used to their location. I drove in the heavy rain yesterday -- and they work much better than optical mirrors! The lower resolution "misses" much of the mist (kicked up from the tires) and their aperture adjustment makes the images on the screens quite bright. Ditto for dusk operation. I have not driven at night except once, and I think I now have the windshield reflection issue solved...

If I were to design this from scratch, I would say that a slightly less wide angle of view would be plenty (90-100 degrees instead of the ~110 degrees these cameras provide). The wide angle is great and I love being able to see a bit of the side of my car in both screens, but frankly, it takes getting used to. And that leads me to my next improvement:

I would want the lens optics to compensate for the barrel distortion (and maybe overcompensate?) so the cars behind in the adjacent lanes were shown larger and appeared to be closer. I am still looking over my shoulder to confirm that I have room (which is probably wise in any situation!), because they look pretty small when they are ~100' behind me.

Large (semi) trucks behind me show up in all three mirrors! And the way they work in the rain is quite impressive -- the lens get a few drops when the car is parked, which show up as soft-focus distortions on part of the screen, but if you wipe these off, then they stay dry when you are driving. It doesn't matter if your windows get fogged up, either!
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