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Discussion Starter #1
I asked at my unplugged test drive how to enable the rear view camera. I was told by the right seater it activates when the car is in reverse. "No way to activate it while in drive?" "No" was the answer. That's not a rear view camera, that's a backup camera...

If this is true, is there a reason we can't use the rear view camera as an additional rear view "mirror"? I didn't put the car in reverse to check it out (as has been mentioned, the San Diego unplugged event was a bit time constrained by the crowd). Is it pointed too far down, and of no use driving forward?

If it *would* be usable, how amenable is GM going to be to suggestions from it's first 10,000 beta users^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^hcustomers?
 

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That's how the rear-view camera on my Enclave works as well...it only comes on when backing up. It also has back up sensors that beep and put exclamation marks over objects that are in you path (An option you can turn on/off). As you get closer to an object in your path, the exclamation marks get bigger, then turn red. This set up works very good for me, as I back the vehicle into the garage and when the exclamation marks turn red, I know I'm in far enough.

That said, the rear view camera does have a "fish eye" effect so you can see a wide field of view behind you. Since the image is distorted, perhaps that's why there isn't an option to leave it on during driving. In my case, it would be a simple software change to make that feature a reality, as a S/W patch could be uploaded into the GPS radio by the dealer (when backing up, the rear view camera is viewed via the radio touch pad screen).
 

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Just curious for anyone that has driven the Volt: is the rear view obstructed so much as in the Prius that the camera is pretty a good accy??
 

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I would say that even for those that believe the rear visibility is good, that having a rear view camera is an excellent safety option.
 

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Suggestion for an article from Lyle

I suggested to Lyle that he do an article on the camera and parking assist. He agreed that it would be good for an article, but I suspect that he forgot about it.
 

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When I did my test drive in LA, I switched into reverse. The backup camera turned on and showed the path of rear travel, just as the Infiniti system I saw on a G37. The red lines changed direction as I turned the steering wheel. Otherwise it's similar to our Enclave's system, as described elsewhere in this thread. It's a useful safety feature in any vehicle and I highly recommend it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I think it would be better if you also have a backup mirror installed on your vehicle. In that way, you would be able to really check it twice and it would be so much better if you have a good one, instead of depending on one thing.
Ummm, well, there are 3 rear view mirrors in a Volt (2 side, one center windshield) just like any other car. Are you talking about one of those rear mounted convex mirror thingies? If so, ummm no. That'd be kinda bad for drag.

My interest in being able to use the rear camera while in drive is so I can see just how close that tail-gater is.
 

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Ummm, well, there are 3 rear view mirrors in a Volt (2 side, one center windshield) just like any other car. Are you talking about one of those rear mounted convex mirror thingies? If so, ummm no. That'd be kinda bad for drag.

My interest in being able to use the rear camera while in drive is so I can see just how close that tail-gater is.
Generally, state laws prohibit the use of a video screen where a driver can watch it....that's why all DVD installs are for the rear seat viewers, and the driver and front pass are not able to watch. My buick enclave's rear camera turns on when in reverse, and turns off when in drive. I would expect the volts to do the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Generally, state laws prohibit the use of a video screen where a driver can watch it
Apparently with an exception for back-up cams. OK I'll buy that, and I can see states making those sorts of laws. While I'd like to see what's going on back there while I drive, I can well imagine that it could prove distracting for many drivers, and hence such state laws.

I hadn't heard that explanation, and I can certainly accept it as being probably self-evidently valid. Thank you.
 

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It is typical in motorhomes to have a "backup camera" that comes on automatically when in reverse. On most of these you can merely push a button to turn it on while going forward. They also usually have a microphone as well (so the spouse can yell STOP at just the right time. ;)
 

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We own a 2008 Chrysler Town and Country mini-van and love it. The back up camera is standard with our trim package and I hate it. Our Volts have plenty of mirrors. My main complaint is when backing up at night that camera lights up the whole interior. We have to hold our hand over it to regain night vision. Obviously I did not order that option on our Volt. I do like that camera on our van when backing up to hitch trailer. That is another thing not for a Volt.
 

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Just curious for anyone that has driven the Volt: is the rear view obstructed so much as in the Prius that the camera is pretty a good accy??
Yes the rear view through the Volt back window is very similar to the Prius: not much! I'm sure you get used to it over time just like in the Prius.

 

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Ummm, well, there are 3 rear view mirrors in a Volt (2 side, one center windshield) just like any other car. Are you talking about one of those rear mounted convex mirror thingies? If so, ummm no. That'd be kinda bad for drag.

My interest in being able to use the rear camera while in drive is so I can see just how close that tail-gater is.

If someone is tailgating you I would think the last thing you would want to do is take your eyes off of the road and start staring at something going on behind your car that can't possibly affect you.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
If someone is tailgating you I would think the last thing you would want to do is take your eyes off of the road and start staring at something going on behind your car that can't possibly affect you.
True, I don't stare at tailgaters. But I do take active measures to discourage the behavior. How hard and how briefly I hit the brakes depends on how close they are. If they're too close, it's really quick. If further back, it's more of a reminder... And it usually works.
 

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But I do take active measures to discourage the behavior. How hard and how briefly I hit the brakes depends on how close they are.
Back in the day, a good friend had a pretty well tricked out Plymouth. It had air shocks controllable from inside and he rigged up a button to flash the brake lights. When someone really climbed up on his bumper and tailgated him he would drop the front end by dumping the air shocks while hitting the brake light button and flooring the gas pedal, often chirping the tires. The tailgater would, of course, think he was slamming on the brakes. By the time the tailgater came out of panic mode, my buddy was well over half a mile away. Great fun but in hindsight stupid and dangerous.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
However totally hilarious! I have no love lost for a tailgater who gets rear ended in a panic stop. Tailgating is a stupid thing to do.
 

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However totally hilarious! I have no love lost for a tailgater who gets rear ended in a panic stop. Tailgating is a stupid thing to do.
Boy, you should drive in Detroit. These folks get close enough to hitch up; if they only had a hitch receiver on the front. Now, there is a way to stop burning gas eh?
 
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