British automaker Aston Martin collaborated with Gentex Corporation in creating the next-generation rearview camera system. This new technology will debut at CES 2020 and features a hybrid solution using conventional reflective mirrors and integrated cameras.
It’s a different type of CMS technology
Aston Martin’s newest CMS or Camera Monitoring System technology combines old-school innovation with state-of-the-art monitoring technology.
Combining traditional reflective mirrors with an array of exterior-mounted cameras, the system also comes with Gentex’s mirror-integrated display or Full Display Mirror (FDM), which is essentially a conventional rearview mirror with the capability to display the video feed from the exterior cameras.
“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,” explains Neil Boehm, Gentex Chief Technology Officer. “We believe a hybrid solution is the most practical and comprehensive because it’s engineered to meet automaker, driver, safety, and global regulatory requirements.”
The Gentex FDM system was first seen in the 2020 Aston Martin DBS GT Zagato
Apparently, Gentex’s FDM or full display mirror technology is nothing new. In fact, it’s the same system found in Aston Martin’s luscious DBS GT Zagato. Powered by a 750-horsepower twin-turbocharged 5.2-liter V12, the DBS GT Zagato is part of the DBZ Centenary collection which includes the glorious DB4 GT Zagato Continuation model.
In fact, the FDM system enabled Aston Martin to go crazy in designing the DBS GT Zagato without fear of compromising rear visibility. The car has a single rear-facing camera projecting live video feed to the vehicle’s rearview mirror. This enables the driver to get a clear and unobstructed view behind the vehicle.
Aston Martin’s hybrid CMS is designed to be a fail-safe system
You see, having cameras instead of mirrors is cool and all, but what happens if the vehicle runs out of power, encounters a system failure, or if the cameras are obstructed by inclement weather?
Since Aston Martin’s newest CMS technology still uses reflective mirrors instead of hi-tech LCD displays, the driver can still use the side mirrors and rearview mirror if the CMS is offline. In fact, the hybrid CMS allows for standard mirror views, camera views, or a combination of both.
The system also has an auto-adjust feature to dynamically alter the video feed from the exterior mirrors to find the ideal mirror position. “As a global luxury brand, our vehicles combine benchmark beauty and quality with performance and driver-assistance features that evoke a sensory response,” said Simon Sproule, Aston Martin Chief Marketing Officer. “The goal of this development program with Gentex is to ultimately implement a unique CMS solution that enriches the Aston Martin driving experience for our customers around the world.”
Aston’s new CMS technology is fitted in a prototype DBS Superleggera
In order to prove the system works, Aston Martin fitted its newest hybrid CMS technology in a prototype DBS Superleggera.
You’ll find a single rear-mounted camera in the roof while the side cameras are housed discreetly in each of the side mirrors. Gentex also integrated the image processing software and mirror-integrated display in the prototype vehicle.
In the future, you can expect all Aston Martin vehicles to come equipped with this breakthrough CMS technology. You can see this new camera monitoring system in action at Aston Martin and Gentex’s booth at the 2020 CES in Las Vegas.