When you’re trying to manoeuvre your vehicle into a tight space, visibility is everything — but it isn’t always easy to see everything around you when you’re sitting inside a tall SUV.

 

Rearview cameras help, but Infiniti takes it a step beyond with its Around View Monitor.

 

The system, which provides several images including a bird’s-eye view, is available on the EX35, FX35, FX50 and QX56. It was designed by Sony and uses that company’s software to integrate the pictures taken by cameras on the outside of the vehicle into the overall “top-down” view.

 

“Instead of just having a rearview camera behind you, there are four cameras: one in each mirror, one at the front in the grille, and one at the rear,” says Ian Forsyth, director of corporate planning for Nissan Canada.


“The images are integrated into a picture of your vehicle as if you were standing above it.”


The four super-wide-angle cameras enable the driver to “see” down the entire length of the vehicle, and their high resolution provides a clear colour picture. The range is about three metres to the front and rear, and about one metre on each side. The system works at speeds of up to about 10 km/h, and includes parking distance sensors that warn if the driver is getting too close to an object, such as a pole or another car.


While rearview cameras have been around for a while, the ability to provide multiple views allows drivers to customize the screen to see specific areas. The driver can choose the bird’s-eye, front or rear, or a view of the passenger side. As with many rearview cameras, the Infiniti system includes an overlay of the vehicle’s path, which assists when backing into a parking space.


“If you turn the wheel, it will give you a projection of where the vehicle is going to go,” Forsyth says. By customizing the screen to show both the rear view with vehicle path, and the bird’s-eye, the driver has a clear indication of the parking space and the best way to centre the vehicle in it.