On Thursday, Jaguar Land Rover India launched the new Discovery Sport SUV, priced Rs 57.06 lakh (ex-showroom) onwards. Changes include a transformed interior, new exterior design and ‘connected car’ technologies, but one that stands out—because you won’t see it in other cars as a factory-fitted feature—is a rather understated innovation. It’s the interior rear-view mirror. While technology has shaped and reshaped cars over the decades, the interior rear-view mirror has more or less remained the same—it simply, and directly, reflects what’s behind the driver. Of course, there have been innovations such as day/night mirror (tilted to reduce the brightness and glare of lights) and rear-view mirrors with automatic dimming (photosensors that dim bright-light reflection by means of electrochromism), a camera to assist rear vision has been an after-market feature, at least in cars in India.
(Honda has a technology called the LaneWatch—in the Civic and the CR-V—but this system supplements side mirrors, not interior rear-view mirror.) The Discovery Sport (and in the new Range Rover Evoque launched in January) has something called the ClearSight interior rear-view mirror. It’s a simple technology—a high-definition camera has been installed behind the car, and the image it reproduces turns the interior rear-view mirror into an HD monitor. This means that if the direct rear view gets obscured, you can turn the mirror into a monitor that displays live feed from the rear-facing camera. It reads quite simple, but this technology helps deliver greater levels of confidence when driving off-road or in congested urban situations.
At the same time, drivers who wear varifocal or bifocal lenses may have issues adjusting to the mirror’s digital mode. The normal mirror mode, however, can be used at any time. The new Discovery Sport is powered by BS- Ingenium engines—the 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol with a 48-volt mild hybrid system, and the 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel.
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