Audi Digital Rear-view Mirror

Audi’s solution to solve the problem of rear-view mirror in the new R18 closed LMP race car is turning to electronics.

Aside from the physical and mental strain in endurance racing, life for the quick racers compared with their DTM colleagues is made more difficult by the special aspect of totally different vision. The extremely low, central seating position is just one reason for this. Another one is the fact that – unlike the Audi A5 DTM – none of the closed LMP sports cars have a rear window.

Used for the first time in a closed LMP sports prototype, the digital rear-view mirror provides a clear view of the rear and thus substantially improves active safety. It’s more expensive than the conventional mirror, but they don’t’ have a choice!


Audi press release:

The concept and structure of the monocoque plus the configuration of the mid-engine in the Audi R18 leave no room for a rear window. “So, in the past, our drivers had to strictly rely on the outside mirrors when looking rearward,” explains Dr. Ullrich. “Yet the rear end and the rear wings plus the vibrations that occur at high speeds significantly limit the field of vision of these mirrors.” Audi has developed a solution, which thanks to advanced technology produces an amazing effect. The digital rear-view mirror that shows what is happening behind the car on an innovative AMOLED display is better than any conventional mirror.

A camera of very light weight and dimensions of just a few millimeters sits behind the antennas on the roof of the Audi R18. It captures the action at the rear on film and transmits the information to the cockpit as digitalized data. The racing situation behind the vehicle is shown on a screen that sits in the place where an inside mirror is typically located.

“This gives us a whole host of benefits,” stresses Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “The operation of the mirror is weather-neutral. By contrast, when using outside mirrors, heavy water spray severely impairs the driver’s field of vision when it rains. For the new digital mirror, we worked out various day and night driving modes. Even when a rival approaches from the rear with high-beam headlights the image is superb and not just a glaring light spot.”

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