By Gerry Miles
There’s little doubt that back-up cameras are more than just a fad to add to the bottom line on the accessories list when adding to the sticker price.
They’re a helpful sight and navigation aid as anyone who has had to back up from a parking spot that’s had to park front bumper in on an angle and had a large pickup sidle up next to them and wonder how to proceed without crashing into someone or something behind them. The eyes of the backup camera provide a clear view behind and alongside.
Honda’s LaneWatch™ blind spot display – the only auto product to win this honor in 2013 – copped a Good Housekeeping 2013 “Very Innovative Products” (VIP) Award, it was one of only nine new products overall. The winners were selected from over 1,500 new products reviewwed by the scientists and engineers at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute during the past year in the magazine’s state-of-the-art product-testing laboratory. Before any product can be named a VIP award winner, it must also pass the Research Institute’s evaluations for performance and safety.
Debuting on the all-new 2013 Accord, which recently achieved the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) new TOP SAFETY PICK+ designation, and now also available on the versatile 2013 Crosstour, LaneWatch uses a camera mounted on the passenger-side mirror to display real-time images of the vehicle’s right-side blind spot on an 8-inch color dashboard display. The image appears when the right turn signal is activated, or when a button on the end of the turn signal stalk is pressed.
The typical field of view for a passenger-side mirror is approximately 18 to 22 degrees, but the LaneWatch field-of-view is about four times greater, or approximately 80 degrees. The system helps the driver to see traffic, as well as pedestrians, bicycles or other objects in the vehicle’s blind spot. To help make judging distance easier, the display has three reference lines. Drivers are encouraged to visually confirm roadway conditions prior to changing lanes.