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Audi replaces rear-view mirror with mobile phone inspired camera

Audi replaces rear-view mirror with mobile phone inspired camera
Audi appears to be the first car maker that is prepared to jump across the digital divide, replacing the reflective glass of the rear-view mirror with a large and glowing mobile phone screen.

The technology comes straight off the racetrack, with large LCD screens featuring in Audi's R18 Hybrid and Ultra race cars that dominated the 24 Hours of Le Mans race earlier this year.

In another digital first, the electronic rear-view mirror will feature in the R8 e-tron, the road-going, battery-powered version of the R8 two-seat sports car due to appear in its production form later this year - but this has not yet confirmed for Australia.

The German luxury brand says swapping the traditional mirror for the camera-fed digital version introduces a host of benefits for drivers.

"A control unit produces a consistent high-contrast, brilliant image," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted the car maker as saying in a statement released overnight.

"During the hours of darkness the intelligent control system prevents dazzle from the headlights of other vehicles. The driver can dim or deactivate the display at any time.

"Audi is also working on incorporating additional information on the monitor in future," the car maker said.
The R8 e-tron will use the electronic mirror because unlike the conventionally-engined version, it has no rear window.

Instead, the battery-powered car has a big bank of aluminium cooling fins that help to cool the electronics and batteries that lie in the space occupied by the engine in the conventional sports car.

A rearward-facing camera will be mounted in a special housing at the rear of the car.

According to Audi, the organic materials used in the digital screen - adopted from mobile phones and much more advanced than a laptop screen - can glow at night under very low power, eliminating the need to provide a back-lit screen once darkness falls.

The car maker added that the system is also smart enough to be able to digitally filter out the bright headlights of following cars.

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