How essential is rear camera?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by stock, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. Zythryn

    Zythryn Senior Member

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    I like it as a safety feature.
    We have neighbors on both sides with young kids and many others in the general area.
    I wouldn't say it is essential, any more than air bags are essential.
    As someone else said, it just gives the driver one more view when backing up.
     
  2. steveholtam

    steveholtam Junior Member

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    At home, where there are cats and kids about, I use it almost every time. At work, almost never.
     
  3. carz89

    carz89 I study nuclear science...

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    Like most people have already implied, there are varying degrees of "essential". But, having used the rear-view camera now for a couple years, I will never again buy a car without one! It does provide a bit of additional safety, but the real gain is knowing exactly when to stop when backing up to something. This avoids guessing or getting out of the car to check out your rear clearance in tight situations. It will save you many scratches to your bumper.

    I hope Toyota takes it a step further in the next generation Prius and adds two more cameras, both angled at the rear blind spots, both with less fish-eye distortion. Similar to what the Aptera is doing. Not sure that a rear-view blind-spot camera can entirely replace the side mirrors, but having those extra eyes can only help. The two blind-spot cameras could be displayed automatically on the LCD based upon input from the turn-signal lever.
     
  4. freshmtt

    freshmtt Dachshund Addict

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    Honestly, I don't really use it for backing up or parking because it does not give you any depth or distance to/from an object. The only thing it is really good for is just quickly glancing at it to make sure there is not a little kid behind you before you start backing up that might not be visible by just turning around and looking out the rear window. For example a kid riding on a small hot cyle or something like that. Or making sure you don't have any of your pets/dogs/cats behind you when you back up.

    It is much easier for me to just turn around and look out the back window to judge my distance. The camera has a very weird and distorted view to it and it is really impossible for you to know exactly how far you are from something before you smack into it.

    I still have not disabled that annoying beep, which I hope to do when I have time someday soon.
     
  5. Xabiche

    Xabiche New Member

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    I've been driving a rental for the past couple of weeks and I *really* miss the camera.
     
  6. a priori

    a priori Canonus Curiosus

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    A couple more things to add:

    First, the view is "distorted" in that the camera gives a fisheye view, but it is reliable in terms of distances. I'll have to go out and measure it now, but I believe that when you back up to a line or mark on the pavement, you are six inches away from that mark when it matches up with the bumper (as you see it throught the camera). (If the distance is 10" or 12", someone please correct me!)

    Second, the camera has fabulous night vision. I still always turn around to look behind the car, but I truly rely upon the camera to give me valuable information in the dark.
     
  7. aaf709

    aaf709 Ravenpaw of ThunderClan

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    That's one thing I would like to have on my 2005, but I wouldn't want a 3rd party. I'd rather have it retrofitted so it'll display on the MFD. I know it's possible, but there are several systems to choose from, plus I would like to get it professionally installed.
     
  8. AussieOwner

    AussieOwner Active Member

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    Is it essential - no. Is it useful - yes, but limited in its use.

    I have a third party camera fitted, but not linked to the MFD (cannot do this on a base model). After a year of usage, my wife, who wanted it in the first place, never uses it. I only use it when parallel parking at night, or backing into a space in a parking station (low light cases). The camera is mounted in the same place as the Toyota standard camera, but the screen that comes with the camera is almost useless.

    Maybe the Toyota fitted camera, displaying through the MFD would be more useful, but there have also been occassions where I am unable to see anything on that screen due to sun glare.

    Mind you..... it will be one of the things that I will certainly look to have when we trade-in the current Prius for a new model.
     
  9. Zythryn

    Zythryn Senior Member

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    One other thing I really like it for...
    When I am parked next to a larger vehicle in a lot, the fish-eye aspect of the camera actually lets me see 'around' the larger vehicle better than I can simply by turning around. It is like climbing into the back of your car, opening the hatch and poking your head out, only much faster;)
     
  10. Whiteyprius

    Whiteyprius Active Member

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    If I would have looked at my screen I would NOT have run into my lawnmower. (It would have been equally nice if I would have remembered that I left it behind the Prius)
     
  11. SparrowHawk60

    SparrowHawk60 Happy to be green!

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    "GOAL", GET OUT AND LOOK!
    I still turn around and look out the back window while backing up. To me the rear camera is all but useless.
     
  12. abcdefgary

    abcdefgary New Member

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    not entirely useless.
    it allows us to be a little bit more geeky.
     
  13. Boo

    Boo Boola Boola Member

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    I turn my head to look out the rear and I use the backup camera. It covers the blind spot that you cannot see by merely turning your head and looking out the rear. I think that's important.
     
  14. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Agreed. Saying the rear camera is useless is like saying the rear window is useless. Why do you need a rear window when you can get out and look. Mirrors seem like a silly idea too.

    Tom
     
  15. krmcg

    krmcg Lowered Blizzard Pearl Beauty

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    We have cameras on the Prius and on the wife's Lexus and I never bother to look. Ever.
    I have a backup "sonar" beeper on the Ford F150 that I almost never drive anymore and it is much more useful. (beeps get quicker as you get closer to an object until it is a solid sound).
    As an option, I would never bother to order a rear-mounted camera.
    (It is sometimes impressive to others as a show-off feature)
     
  16. aaf709

    aaf709 Ravenpaw of ThunderClan

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    I will say that Consumer Reports likes the camera, but I remember seeing a segment on TV where they were comparing a camera and the sonic sensors. The feeling was that the sonic sensors were preferred as you can hear if something's getting close (like a wall or fence) and you can still use your eyes looking back at the same time.
     
  17. SparrowHawk60

    SparrowHawk60 Happy to be green!

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    Ok, I'll reframe from the word useless. To me it is not a worth while tool. I normally walk around what ever I am driving to check for anything that might be in my way, an old habit from driving trucks. Many a truck I've driven don't have a rear window, so the window is often a non issue for me. But I for one can not do with out my "silly mirrors"!
    Granted the wife likes the camera, but as I've told her it's not a replacement for safe driving only an additional tool or skill.
     
  18. Stev0

    Stev0 Honorary Hong Kong Cavalier

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    I take it you never, ever parallel park?
     
  19. Boo

    Boo Boola Boola Member

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    Back to the issue of safety, I think it's indisputable that a back-up camera will prevent a lot of injuries and deaths, especially those caused by SUVs, mini-vans, vans, trucks and other vehicles with huge rearview blindspots.

    I found the following info on mommylife.net:
    Every year, thousands of children are hurt or die because a driver backing up didn't see them. These incidents for the most part take place in residential driveways or parking lots.

    * The predominant age of victims was one year olds. (12-23 months)

    * Over 60% of backing up incidents involved a larger size vehicle. (truck, van, SUV)

    * Tragically, in over 70% of these incidents, a parent or close relative is behind the wheel.

    * The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2/18/05 study reports over 2400 children are treated in hospital emergency rooms every year due a child being struck by or rolled over by a vehicle moving in reverse.

    In the U.S. fifty children are being backed over by vehicles EVERY week. Forty-eight are treated in hospital emergency rooms and at least two children are fatality injured every WEEK.

    This problem is only going to get worse unless we work for better visibility behind the vehicles we drive. The government does not have any regulations about what you should be able to see behind a vehicle. Because we are driving larger, longer and higher vehicles we are seeing many more backover incidents.

    Backovers can happen in any vehicle because all vehicles have a blind zone; the area behind a vehicle you can’t see from the driver’s seat. The danger tends to increase with larger vehicles.

    It’s always best to look carefully behind the vehicle before you get in and again before you put the car in gear to back up. Remember to back up slowly, and pay attention to your mirrors.

    KIDS AND CARS recommendations to keep children safe include:

    · Walk around and behind a vehicle prior to moving it.
    · Know where your kids are. Make children move away from your vehicle to a place where they are in full view before moving the car and know that another adult is properly supervising children before moving your vehicle.
    · Teach children that “parked” vehicles might move. Let them know that they can see the vehicle; but the driver might not be able to see them.
    · Consider installing cross view mirrors, audible collision detectors, rear view video camera and/or some type of back up detection device.
    · Measure the size of your blind zone (area) behind the vehicle(s) you drive. A 5-foot-1-inch driver in a pickup truck can have a rear blind zone of approximately 8 feet wide by 50 feet long.
    · Be aware that steep inclines and large SUV’s, vans and trucks add to the difficulty of seeing behind a vehicle.
    · Hold children’s hand when leaving the vehicle.
    · Teach your children to never play in, around or behind a vehicle and always set the emergency brake.
    · Keep toys and other sports equipment off the driveway.
    · Homeowners should trim landscaping around the driveway to ensure they can see the sidewalk, street and pedestrians clearly when backing out of their driveway. Pedestrians also need to be able to see a vehicle pulling out of the driveway.
    · Never leave children alone in or around cars; not even for a minute.
    · Keep vehicles locked at all times; even in the garage or driveway and always set your parking brake.
    · Keys and/or remote openers should never be left within reach of children.
    · Make sure all child passengers have left the car after it is parked.
    · Be especially careful about keeping children safe in and around cars during busy times, schedule changes and periods of crisis or holidays.
    These precautions can save lives.
    And from kidsandcars.org:

    Consumer Reports would like every vehicle to eventually come equipped with what only a few luxury SUVs and minivans now have: a monitor in the console and a tiny camera so drivers can see everything behind their bumper when backing up.

    "You wouldn't have these accidents if people could see what they're backing in to," said Consumer Reports Engineer Dr. David Pittle.
     
  20. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    The "silly mirrors" comment was to make a point. Most of your argument against the rear camera applies directly to the mirrors. The difference is that mirrors have become standard equipment, and as such, we are all accustomed to them.

    I agree that the camera is not essential, but it does give a view that is otherwise unavailable from the inside of the vehicle. No matter how flexible your neck or how good your mirrors, you can't see anything bumper height behind the Prius without getting out or using the rear view camera. It's another tool, and a useful one if you learn to use it. A walk around is good practice, but is no use against moving obstructions (otherwise known as children).

    I too drove heavy equipment, much of which had no view out the back, and side mirrors are my first choice for close quarters backing. That said, I have also backed trucks and heavy equipment directly into vertical obstructions hiding between the view of the outside mirrors. It's a bit embarrassing when you do that, but at least I wasn't running over a kid.

    One of our neighbors killed her own child by backing over it in the driveway. The child wasn't there when she got into the car, and was too low to be seen in the mirrors or out of the rear window.

    Another place where I like the rear camera is parking in close quarters. I can back right up to an obstruction without having to eyeball the distance. I'm not too bad at eyeballing, but the camera is still better. Of course you could get out and walk around, but that's not a very good option in traffic.

    Tom
     
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