Hundreds of thousands of new cars are coming pre-fitted with reversing cameras to prevent backup collisions and make reversing a much easier task to do. This article will cover exactly what you need to know about reversing cameras, how they work and what to do if your car does not come with a pre-installed reversing camera kit.
Function and Features
The function of a reversing camera in a car is fairly straightforward, to assist the driver in reversing. They are usually connected to the head unit display of the vehicle which allow the driver to assess the space they have before pulling into or out of a parking space. Initially designed to prevent backup collisions, where drivers collide with an object or person due to a blind spot which normal rear view mirrors do not cover. The difference between a reversing camera and a normal camera is that the image is horizontally flipped so that it becomes a mirror image. This, therefore, matches the physical display of the driver’s rear view and headboard mirrors to avoid any possible confusion.
In terms of practical features, reversing cameras, or backup cameras as they are often known, usually use a fisheye or wide-angle lens to allow the driver to see a maximum possible width despite losing the advantage of seeing long distance objects. They also often are pointing downwards to allow the driver to see objects which they would not otherwise be able to see.
History and How to Get One
Reversing cameras have been around since January 1956 when the Buick Centurion concept car was presented at a GM conference. However, it was not until 1991 when the Japan-exclusive Toyota Soarer was revealed, with the news that reversing cameras were able to be used by the general public. In 2000, Nissan incorporated backup cameras into their signature Sedan, and this was available to customers worldwide as an optional attachment in the March of 2001.
Nowadays, many cars are being produced with pre-fitted reversing cameras to increase the level of safety and to avoid careless collisions and accidents. However, if your car does not come with a backup camera, they are available to purchase from many retailers worldwide for around $100-180 depending on brand and quality. These are easy to set up and often match or better the quality of the pre-fitted ones which many motorhomes and sports cars come with by default.