New Mirror Design Removes Car Blind Spot
A new design for car review mirrors has been awarded a patent recently. This new design has a field of view as great as 45º, compared to the normal 15-17º of current flat mirrors, without distorting the image much. The inventor, a mathematician at Drexel University, hopes to see it enter the car part aftermarket in the US.
It has been possible to increase the field of view of these mirrors for a long time, but required a curved mirror. Like in a fun house, though not necessarily as extreme, the image in a curved mirror is distorted, which is why the US requires all cars must have a flat driver's side mirror when produced. The new design does utilize a slightly curved mirror but it was specially constructed to minimize distortion. This was accomplished by treating the one mirror like a great many smaller mirrors, like a disco ball. The mathematician used a special algorithm to optimize the angle of each of these smaller mirrors to keep distortion at a minimum while still providing a wider viewing angle.
Even though it cannot come installed on new cars, the inventor has received interest from investors and manufacturers about the mirror. You may need to do it install it yourself, or have a mechanic do it, but it looks like this product will be coming to market.