The amount of electronic technology within the modern day automobile continues to rise, and the rearview mirror has become an ideal location to incorporate much of this electronic content. When a driver glances at the mirror, only subtle movements of their eyes is required, allowing them to remain focused on the road. In addition to increased safety for the driver, electronic content in the mirror is also more cost-effective than purchasing these components separately and designing them into the vehicle interior.
Why the Mirror Has Become the Ideal Location for Technology:
1. Lower Cost
First and foremost, locating electronic devices in the mirror is by far the most cost-effective solution. The alternative is redesigning and retooling the overhead console, instrument panel or center console each time a new feature is added to the vehicle, and that's a costly, time-consuming proposition.
2. Common Electronics
Automatic-dimming mirrors use a combination of sensors and complex electronics to dim. Many of these components (sensors, circuit boards, micro-controllers, etc.) can be shared with other advanced features to save cost and space, while reducing part counts and overall vehicle complexity.
3. Superior Performance
Because of the mirror's location in the vehicle — high on the windscreen, in the driver's line-of-sight, surrounded by glass — it's an excellent, high-performance location for displays, microphones, antennas, receivers, etc. The mirror, while surrounded by glass, is the most advantageous location for sending and receiving signals. And, with its position high on the windscreen, it's the optimal location for cameras — looking forward of the vehicle, protected by glass, and in an area swept clean by the wipers.
The mirror's location also makes it a safe place to put features because mirror-borne displays and interfaces can be viewed and interacted with while keeping the driver's natural line-of-sight on the road ahead. Viewing the rearview mirror requires minimal eye movement and drivers view their mirror more frequently than they view the instrument panel. Data by the Japanese Insurance Association shows that drivers view interior rearview mirrors at least every 15 seconds, or 4 times per minute, while viewing their instrument panel just three times per minute.
Featured mirrors can be designed, engineered and tooled quickly, and are often available "off the shelf." They're also easy to install, allowing vehicle manufacturers to bring new features to market quickly and efficiently across different vehicle platforms.
6. Consistent Location
Placing features in the mirror allows manufacturers to present electronic content to drivers in a common location across vehicle platforms.
Automatic-dimming mirrors are easily accessible, simplifying diagnostics and service. If necessary, they can be easily replaced.
Mirrors can be changed out or updated easily as new features become available. This enables manufacturers or automobile dealers to freshen new and used vehicles alike while keeping pace with new technology introductions.
9. Model Differentiation
By using the mirror as an electronic module, manufacturers can differentiate between vehicle grades or competitive vehicles by placing different features in the mirror.
Interested in Adding an Auto-Dimming Mirror to Your Vehicle?
Contact Mito Corporation
MITO Corporation is a distributor of quality electronic products and accessories, that Gentex has contracted with to sell a number of our most popular advanced-feature interior auto-dimming mirrors to the automotive aftermarket. Gentex auto-dimming mirrors are available on vehicles at every major automaker globally. Contact MITO Corporation at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-433-6486 to determine if they have a mirror that will fit your vehicle.