Parking in tight spaces is a cinch with a new display from Nissan showing a panoramic bird's-eye-view of what's surrounding a car - a feature that the Japanese automaker says is a first for commercially mass-produced vehicles.
Using digital cameras, Around View Monitor displays an aerial view of the car on a dashboard screen.
The option will be available in the Infiniti EX35 luxury model, going on sale in the U.S. in December, and the Elgrand minivan selling in Japan later this month, the Japanese automaker said Friday. Tokyo-based Nissan Motor Co. said pricing for the option was still undecided.
Other automakers have similar technology using digital cameras to show images of a driver's blind spots, but Nissan's system puts together the images to create the entire aerial view, not just what's in front or the rear.
Images from all sides are shown the way they appear from above - with the vehicle displayed as a computer graphic in the middle of the screen.
Toyota Motor Corp. has a system in which the car parks by itself - even if the driver has no hands on the steering wheel - calculating from its built-in computer, steering sensor and a tiny camera in the rear the proper route into a parking spot.
Nissan's technology uses four digital cameras, mounted on the front, sides and rear of the vehicle.
The screen, which also works as the car-navigation display, is split in two: the left side provides the view from above while the right side is a close-up of where the car is headed.
That image automatically shifts to either the front or back view depending on whether the car is in drive or reverse.
The car also has sensors so if it's about to bump into something a warning beep goes off.
Assistance for parking is likely to be attractive in Japan, where streets and parking spaces are narrow, compared to other nations.