Audi's forthcoming electric version of R8 supercar will come with a digital rear-view mirror. Instead of a conventional reflective version, the Audi R8 e-tron will use a Samsung 7.7-inch AMOLED display, which will show the driver what is behind the vehicle.
Tested in the Audi R18 Le Mans race cars, the digital display has been designed to make driving safer. As with the R18s, the R8 e-tron has no rear window, so to combat the lack of visibility the manufacturer has mounted an intelligent, small and lightweight camera system at the back of the car.
The tiny lens, with a diameter of just a few millimetres, covers a wider field of vision than a conventional rear-view mirror, so increases the viewpoint. Plus, the 7.7-inch screen has plenty more real estate to play with.
AMOLED technology has been chosen because it runs on low amounts of power - essential for an electric car. In addition, switching times are just a few milliseconds irrespective of the ambient temperature.
At present, only the camera images will appear on the screen, but Audi has said that it is looking into introducing more information to the display in the future.
Audi hasn't yet revealed a price for the R8 e-tron, which is capable of going from 0 to 62 mph in 4.7 seconds, but it has hinted that it will cost in excess of $250,000 (£159,300). As with all technology, we would expect a digital display to trickle down into more-affordable road cars if it proves successful.
What do you think? Would you like a digital display rear-view mirror in your car? Let us know in the comments below...