The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is giving its thumbs up to GM’s fancy new hybrid rear-view mirror system.
It’s special because it can switch between mirror and rear-view camera views with the flip of a switch. GM calls it the Full Display Mirror. It’s made by Gentex and we’ll see it first on the 2016 Cadillac CT6, then likely on the 2017 Bolt EV.
In its letter to GM, NHTSA said it will only qualify as a standard rearview mirror as long as there are normal side mirrors in place.
Here’s what U.S. Department of Transportation Chief Anthony Foxx had to say about it to NPR this week:
FOXX: Yeah. We’ve asked the industry to give us innovations that they think can and should be part of vehicles. GM, for example, has requested that we interpret our federal safety standards to allow for the camera you described, and today, we are issuing guidance that this technology does qualify under our current standards.
Foxx also talked about the Department of Transportation and NHTSA stepping up technology efforts as a whole.
FOXX: That’s one of the things that’s interesting about where we are, is, we need to be at the leading edge of this revolution in technology and transportation, and our NHTSA department needs to be at the table as this technology is coming into place, you know? Under our old methodology, we would’ve waited for an auto company to come up with a driverless car, and we would’ve had to learn the entire system at one time. And that would’ve taken years and years, and we wouldn’t have been as familiar with it. The way we’re doing it now, taking interpretations like the interpretation we made about GM’s rearview mirrors, the interpretation about the car being effectively the driver under our safety standards – these interpretations are also teaching us. And so as we learn, we’re going to be better and better at being able to keep pace with innovation, and I think safety will benefit as a result.
Check out a video of the Full Display Mirror below.