Spain-based automotive supplier Ficosa has revealed that it has developed the digital rear-view system (which uses cameras and displays instead of the traditional external side mirrors) fitted to Audi’s upcoming e-tron model.

The Audi e-tron will hit the market in late 2018 and the digital rear-view system is a first to the European marketplace.

Ficosa says the system has been developed and manufactured at the Viladecavalls Technology Centre (Spain) and the Wolfenbüttel Centre (Germany).

Ficosa maintains that the vision system, also known as CMS (Camera Monitoring System), is made up of cameras and displays that replace the traditional external side mirrors, providing a driving experience that is ‘safer, more efficient and more comfortable’. The vision system comprises two cameras, integrated into the sides of the car’s chassis, and two tactile displays inside the doors.

Javier Pujol, CEO of Ficosa, said: “Rear-view systems are Ficosa’s core business, so being the first to launch a CMS to the European market is a turning point in our technological transformation process.

“In this way, we’ve not only proven our ability to take advantage of our know-how in vision but we’ve also blazed the trail, being the first to reach this accomplishment that will revolutionise the automotive industry.”

He adds: “It is an honour for Ficosa that Audi, one of the most renowned automobile manufacturers in the world, has trusted our expertise in vision to develop and manufacture this solution”.

Ficosa says the cameras – which are attached to the vehicle using folding wings – send a very low-latency image signal to the two tactile 7-inch OLED displays inside the vehicle. Thanks to the tactile display, users will be able to manually adjust the cameras, Ficosa says.

Ficosa says the system offers users multiple advantages such as a broader field of vision, no blind spots, more efficient fuel use by improving the vehicle’s aerodynamics, no glare and better night-time vision.

The system also includes advanced functions like automatic camera calibration to ‘properly adapt to any situation or warnings that appear dynamically over the image to give the driver information, such as alerts of other vehicles nearby before overtaking’. Furthermore, the CMS also enables the detection of anything that could obstruct the system or get it dirty, Ficosa says.

The cameras also come with high dynamic range (HDR) sensor with LED flicker mitigation technology developed by Omnivision Technologies. This sensor mitigates flickering to ensure outstanding image quality under any lighting or temperature conditions.

The digital rear-view system has been developed by Ficosa’s ADAS Business Unit and is manufactured at the Viladecavalls Technology Centre (Spain), while the wings supporting the cameras on the outside of the vehicle have been manufactured at the Wolfenbüttel Centre (Germany). More than 90 engineers specialized in fields like optics, software and hardware, have worked on the CMS project.

Javier Pujol adds: “Launching the first CMS entails recognition of the huge effort the whole team at the company has made to lead the transformation of the automobile in e-mobility, connected and autonomous cars. This achievement also reaffirms our commitment to bringing the car of the future to today.”

See also: Virtual exterior mirrors series production first for Audi