Gentex debuts rearview system for next-generation Aston Martin vehicles
Gentex Corporation and Aston Martin announced they’ve jointly developed a camera-based rear vision system for future Aston Martin vehicles that improves a driver’s ability to monitor traffic to the rear and sides of the vehicle. Integrated into an Aston Martin DBS Superleggera for demonstration, the first prototype of the system was displayed in Gentex’s booth at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
The rear vision system—known as a camera monitoring system (CMS)—uses three cameras to provide a comprehensive view of the sides and rear of the vehicle. Side-view cameras are discretely housed in each of the vehicle’s exterior mirrors; their video feeds are combined with that of a roof-mounted camera and displayed together in multiple composite views that are streamed to the driver via a rear-view mirror-integrated display inside the cockpit.
The collaboration is part of an ongoing development program to bring CMS to future Aston Martin vehicles. For the current prototype, Aston Martin provided overall styling and engineering direction while Gentex integrated the system’s cameras, image processing software, and mirror-integrated display, as well as partnered with exterior mirror supplier Lumatech to engineer the exterior mirrors.
“The solution that Aston Martin chose is a hybrid CMS technology, meaning that the vehicle incorporates both cameras and standard reflective mirrors for side vision,” said Gentex Chief Technology Officer Neil Boehm. “We believe a hybrid solution is the most practical and comprehensive because it’s engineered to meet automaker, driver, safety, and global regulatory requirements.”
A key attribute of a hybrid CMS solution is that it enhances safety by ensuring the system is fail safe, report the companies. Should weather conditions or system failure disrupt the digital view, drivers can still use their traditional interior and exterior mirrors. The new hybrid CMS also supports user preference and acceptance by permitting drivers to use standard mirror views, camera views, or a combination of both. The system can also be tuned to meet the various regulatory field-of-view requirements around the world by using different types of flat and curved glass, combined with simple alterations to the video viewing modes.
The solution also includes a unique auto-adjust feature that dynamically alters the video feeds from the exterior-mirror-integrated cameras to adjust for mirror position. When the driver adjusts the exterior mirrors, the system digitally optimizes the camera field-of-view to provide ideal sideward vision.
Central to the hybrid CMS solution is the Gentex rearview-mirror-integrated display known as a Full Display Mirror (FDM). The FDM can function as either a standard auto-dimming rearview mirror or as an LCD display. When used as a display for CMS, the driver can choose between various viewing modes that present the three camera feeds in various intuitive combination views.
Gentex recently began shipping its FDM for use in the 2020 Aston Martin DBS GT Zagato.