Many van drivers rely on their side mirrors, with rear view mirrors not so helpful when there is a partition or cargo behind you. As the bumper stickers proclaim: “If you can’t see my mirrors – then I can’t see you!”
Now, Ford is introducing a “Smart Mirror”. This new system looks exactly like a regular rear view mirror – but is actually a high-definition screen that clearly displays a panoramic view behind the van. This helps drivers to spot cyclists, pedestrians and other vehicles that may be behind them, even when windowless rear doors or partitions are in the way.
Full Display Interior Mirror shows a live feed from a camera on the rear of the van and features automatic brightness control for optimum visibility in daylight and at night. The system offers a field of view that is twice the width of a conventional rear-view mirror. This helps drivers to be more aware of their surroundings, for example, when approaching roundabouts, changing lanes or checking before merging or turning into side streets.
Ford’s new mirror could be particularly beneficial for delivery drivers making frequent drop-offs in cities, where they are more likely to encounter those on bikes, e-scooters or on foot; vulnerable road users accounted for 70 per cent of road accident fatalities in Europe’s urban areas in 2019. 1
Good for business
Ford’s new mirror could benefit businesses by reducing the need for costly accident damage repairs, as well as potentially contributing to lower insurance premiums. Fitting the system may also improve uptime – the time when commercial vehicles are working on the road. Ford last week announced FORDLiive – a new connected uptime system designed to help maximise vehicle uptime.
The mirror is now available for Ford Transit and Transit Custom vans fitted with windowless rear doors. Any Ford dealer can order and fit the system, which is compatible with Transit vans built from 2014 and Transit Custom models built from 2012.
“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.”
Owen Gregory, director, Commercial Vehicle Aftersales, Ford of Europe
· Video: https://youtu.be/mPGoEJ-TNZY
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1 European Commission data, June 2020. Vulnerable road users include pedestrians, cyclists and powered two-wheelers.