Ford has developed a new “smart mirror” for its vans to help delivery drivers with limited visibility in the rear. A windowless load space means van drivers typically have to rely on side mirrors, which can be tricky in urban areas, especially when dealing with pedestrians, cyclists and other traffic.
Ford’s new system looks exactly like a regular rearview mirror – but is actually a high-definition screen that clearly displays a panoramic view behind the van. It shows a live feed from a camera on the rear of the van and features automatic brightness control for optimum visibility in daylight and at night.
The system also offers a field of view that is twice the width of a conventional rear-view mirror. This helps drivers to be more aware of their surroundings, for example, when approaching roundabouts, changing lanes or checking before merging or turning into side streets.
According to Ford, the new mirror could be particularly beneficial for delivery drivers making frequent drop-offs in cities, where they are more likely to encounter those on bikes, e-scooters or on foot; vulnerable road users accounted for 70 per cent of road accident fatalities in Europe’s urban areas in 2019.
The new mirror is fitted to the firm’s latest vans and can be retrofitted on Ford Transit and Transit Custom vehicles dating back to 2012.