The Smart Mirror is a solution to the issues van drivers have with blind spots. As vans don’t have rear windows, they do not have rear mirrors inside the cab. This reduces situational awareness and requires drivers to take extra care when manoeuvring.
Ford’s Smart Mirror installs in the cab exactly where the standard rear-view mirror would be in a car. Instead of a mirror, however, it is a high-definition screen that displays the view behind the van. As it is a camera, and not a standard mirror, Ford are able to customise the display to show a wider field of view than would otherwise be possible.
The result is a panoramic screen twice as wide as a standard mirror that includes automatic brightness controls to adjust for visibility during day or night. This ensures a clear, wide view of the road behind that removes some of the issues van drivers have with blind spots.
Ford believe this new mirror will be beneficial to drivers in urban areas, especially to delivery drivers making frequent drops, as it allows them much more visibility. With it also being far more likely to encounter cyclists and pedestrians in city centres, additional visibility will help reduce the number of road accidents.
Other benefits of the system include reducing damage repair costs. The system will give enough visibility of the space behind the van, including any obstructions, to significantly reduce accidental scrapes and bumps. Not only could it reduce repair costs, but it will also reduce downtime for those repairs to occur.
There is also the potential to achieve lower insurance premiums if the Smart Mirror can be shown to reduce accidents.
Owen Gregory, director, Commercial Vehicle Aftersales, Ford of Europe, said: “Providing our drivers with maximum visibility – especially in urban areas where there is so much to look out for – increases their confidence and is a key part of making journeys safer for them, and for other road users as well.”
We think the Ford Smart Mirror is a great use of modern technology that can provide a real quality of life improvement to van drivers.
If you would like this system added to your van lease, speak to one of our Van Ninja experts for more information.