Smart Rear-View Mirror Sees Through The Stuff Piled In Your Back Seat

Hey! There's a car back there...

Nissan Smart Rear-View Mirror

Corinne Iozzio

A rear-view mirror is only useful if you can see out of the back of your car -- something, it happens, that's gotten increasingly difficult to do. We pack the trunks of our SUVs and hatch-backs to the ceiling with boxes and bags, or pile kids and pets into the backseat. Sometimes even the car itself is the culprit: As rooflines in coupes and sedans slope more aggressively downward, rear windshields are being overtaken by massive blindspots.

So, Nissan's doing something about it. At the New York Auto Show this weekend, the company is demoing its Smart Rear-View Mirror system. The setup, which is still in a prototype stage, is installed on a Nissan Rogue SUV. In the car, what looks like a standard rear-view mirror has two functions: a mirror and an LCD display. When her view is blocked, a driver can toggle to a live feed from a wide-angle camera on the rear of the car. The feature will roll out in Japan this year, but U.S. availability is still pending.