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Prime Mover Magazine

Ficosa technology touted to make wing mirrors redundant

In a move that heralds the future of rear-view technology in cars and trucks, the Audi e-tron, featuring Ficosa’s digital rear-view system replacing the wing mirrors, is due to be launched in late 2018.

The digital rear-view system developed by Ficosa is known as Camera Monitoring System (CMS). It uses cameras and displays instead of the traditional external side mirrors, offering a whole new driving experience said to be safer, more efficient and more comfortable.

It is comprised of two cameras, integrated into each side of the car’s body, and two tactile displays inside the doors.

“Rear-view systems are Ficosa's core business, so being the first to launch a CMS to the European market is a turning point in our technological transformation process,” said Javier Pujol, CEO of Ficosa.

“In this way, we've not only proven our ability to take advantage of our know-how in vision but we've also blazed the trail, being the first to reach this accomplishment that will revolutionise the automotive industry.

“It is an honour for Ficosa that Audi, one of the most renowned automobile manufacturers in the world, has trusted our expertise in vision to develop and manufacture this solution.”

Through this vision system, the cameras – which are attached to the vehicle using folding wings – send a very low-latency image signal to the two tactile 7-inch organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays inside the vehicle. Thanks to the tactile display, users will be able to manually adjust the cameras.

The system is claimed to offer users multiple advantages such as a broader field of vision, no blind spots, more efficient fuel use by improving the vehicle's aerodynamics, no glare and better night-time vision, among others.

It also includes advanced functions like automatic camera calibration which adapts to different situations and warnings that appear dynamically over the image to give the driver information, including alerts of other vehicles nearby before overtaking. Furthermore, the CMS also enables the detection of anything that could obstruct the system such as road grime build-up on the camera lens.

The cameras also come with high dynamic range (HDR) sensor with LED flicker mitigation technology developed by Omnivision Technologies. This sensor mitigates flickering to ensure outstanding image quality under any lighting or temperature conditions.

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