Audi's digital rear-view mirrorEnlarge Photo
Think of motorsport-inspired technology and your thoughts may turn to disc brakes, active suspension and carbon fiber chassis.
It's not always that glamorous though, as demonstrated by a piece of technology emerging from Audi in the near future.
Developed for the R18 e-Tron quattros that won the gruelling 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race, a digital rear-view mirror will enter production with the R8 e-Tron electric supercar at the end of this year.
Using a rear-view camera mounted on the back of the car, and a high-contrast, 7.7-inch color monitor replacing the typical mirror, Audi says it produces a consistent, brilliant image.
While reversing cameras are now relatively common, Audi's system entirely does away with the usual glass mirror to deliver a better image.
The display shows a larger field of vision than a typical mirror, and the tiny heat-controlled camera constantly delivers the perfect image. Software ensures that your view isn't dazzled at night, and drivers have the option to dim the display, or turn it off entirely.
The screen, developed by Samsung Display Co. Ltd, uses AMOLED (Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode) technology. The organic materials used in the display are self-illuminating at low voltage, so they don't require backlighting. It's also thinner, lighter and more energy efficient than regular LCD screens, and the image is fast and accurate even in low temperatures.
As with any digital screen, Audi also has the option to display more information on it at a later date.
The system worked faultlessly during Le Mans, so shouldn't have a problem in the R8 e-Tron--and it's just one more technological marvel that's transferred from race tracks to the streets.