The new Audi R18 LMP sports prototype is a closed-cabin race car with no rear window, and with the engine in the middle and all those big fins and spoilers, a rear-view mirror would have been useless anyway. Having one, however, could help the driver enormously and improve safety as well. So Audi came up with a simple and genius solution: a high-res camera and a super AMOLED screen.
Thanks to a camera of very light weight and dimensions of just a few millimeters sitting behind the antennas on the roof of the Audi R18, sending images of what’s going on behind the car to the screen inside the cabin, the driver can have a better rearward view than he would with a conventional mirror.
The screen technology is important here. Instead of conventional light-emitting diodes an active matrix OLED (AMOLED) display is used. AMOLED screens can show multi-colored images and offer better resolution thanks to particularly small pixels with diameters of merely around 0.1 millimeters.
Awesome picture quality and short response time are among the advantages of this technology that is also used in smartphones. Although, Audi would be better off with Apple’s Retina display!
The digital mirror solution is yet another example of the close meshing of volume production and motorsport. “With respect to the screen and the programming we greatly benefited from the work of our colleagues at AUDI AG’s Technical Development (TE),” says Dr. Ullrich. “They helped us move forward with components and knowledge.” In the trial stage the racers even fully relied on an application that originated at the production side of the house.