Cadillac announced today that the 2016 Cadillac CT6 will offer a high-resolution camera and screen in place of a rearview mirror, confirming what we’ve heard previously. The rearview display is intended to improve the driver’s rear field of vision by 300 percent, according to GM, by eliminating obstructions like pillars, headrests, the roof, and passengers’ heads.
An HD camera mounted on the rear of the vehicle streams a live video feed to an in-mirror 1280×240-pixel TFT-LCD display, which uses 171 pixels per inch to relay the images. The camera’s high dynamic range allows for a sharper image in low light, and also reduces glare compared to auto-dimming mirrors. The camera lens is covered with a hydrophobic coating that sheds water, allowing visibility in wet driving conditions.
“The closest comparison to this kind of rear vision would be driving a convertible with the top down,” said Cadillac CT6 executive chief engineer Travis Hester in a release.
Cadillac has earned 10 patents for the rearview mirror camera tech, including one for the mirror itself and nine for the video processing. If you’re not comfortable putting your life 100 percent in the hands of the new tech, fear not. The streaming function can be turned off, and the unit can then be used as a conventional electrochromatic mirror.
The mirror camera will debut on the 2016 Cadillac CT6, but Caddy isn’t the first to bring the tech to market. Nissan has rolled out a rearview mirror camera as an option in Japan, and will offer the feature in the U.S. some time after. We had the chance to sample the system in a Rogue prototype earlier this year, and appreciated the increased visibility.
In addition to getting a fancy camera setup, we know the CT6 will be built on a version of the Alpha platform that uses high-strength steel and aluminum for reduced weight. GM product boss Mark Reuss has said the CT6 will be 53 pounds lighter than the CTS, despite measuring 8 inches longer. A twin-turbo V-6 will motivate the CT6, and is said to be the most powerful six-cylinder gas engine in the segment. A plug-in hybrid variant will also be available, capable of achieving more than 70 mpge. In September, GM CEO Mary Barra announced the company’s suite of semi-autonomous driving features, called Super Cruise, and said that the tech would debut on an “all-new 2017 Cadillac.” That model was previously thought to be the CT6, but now that we know the new flagship will be a 2016 model, it’s unclear where we’ll see Super Cruise first. The Cadillac CT6 will be built at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant, alongside the ELR, and will debut in 2015.