I was surfing through the MINI UK press site a last week and came upon a couple photos with some minimal accompanying text that were quite interesting…. so I'm passing them on. The images from the press site appear to be of two separate on board cameras that eliminate blind spots in both the front and rear of the MINI. It would appear that they are intended for anyone with the optional navigation system as a retrofittable item and available at dealers.
This first image is of the view from the camera in the rear: [photo]. The second is from the on board monitor with images taken by the front camera: [photo] In this second photo the cross-traffic outside the driver's field of vision is clearly visible. The last two images are of the actual cameras themselves: [photo1] [photo2]
The rear camera is operated automatically when the driver shifts into reverse. The front camera operates at the push of a button and is there to literally look around corners. The front unit incorporates a prism that allows it to cover both the left and right side of the car, The idea is that it allows the driver to know what's around sharp corners without creeping into the intersection.
While we haven't seen any concrete figures yet look for pricing to be over $1000 for the rear camera and “well” over $1000 for the front one. There's no word on US availability however we'll probably know more soon. Keep in mind these images are meant for the UK where there are lots of dealer installed, MINI approved accessories that we don't ever get in the US. For all you US gadget lovers out there lets hope that they make it across the pond.