One of the trickiest aspects of driving a van is seeing out the back, with the cargo area blocking the view.
However, Ford has come up with a solution, called ‘Smart Mirror’. It uses a camera mounted in the back doors, which provides a feed to the rear-view mirror and gives the driver a perfect view of what’s behind them.
It’s a system that has started to be used by other car manufacturers, but its implementation feels like a solution to something that isn’t a problem. However here, it provides direct visibility of an area that currently leaves van drivers blind.
The camera automatically adjusts its brightness to the conditions to provide a clear image whatever the weather or time of day, and Ford says it gives a field of view that’s double what a conventional mirror provides.
Owen Gregory, director of commercial vehicle aftersales at Ford of Europe said: “Providing our drivers with maximum visibility – especially in urban areas where there is so much to look out for – increases their confidence and is a key part of making journeys safer for them, and for other road users as well.”
Ford reckons the system will be most useful for multi-drop delivery drivers, where they will regularly be parking on urban streets with pedestrians and cyclists to watch out for.
The mirror is a £675 upgrade and is available on Ford Transit and Transit Custom vans that have windowless rear doors, built from 2014 and 2012 respectively. Any Ford dealer can order and fit the system, too.