How Does Bird's Eye View Work in Cars?
If you were required to parallel park a car during your driver's test, you might remember the cold fear the task engendered. Right up there with public speaking, parallel parking a vehicle in the presence of others is something many of us just don't want to do. Ever. It requires judgment and skills that many people, perhaps for evolutionary reasons, seem to lack.
Undoubtedly, those in the throes of trying to park a big car in a relatively small parallel-to-the-curb space have often said to themselves, "I sure wish I could see everything from above, like a bird could see it." Well, as was said so sagely so long ago, seek, and ye shall find. Computer technology has made seeing a parking situation from a bird's eye view not a dream but a reality.
These days many vehicles offer some variation of a surround-view camera system that offers exactly that top-down view from above the car. These systems often have branded names, such as Bird's Eye View Camera (Toyota), Around View Monitor (Nissan), or Surround Vision (Chevrolet). Collectively, J.D. Power calls all such systems surround-view cameras.
Nissan and its Infiniti luxury division were pioneers in offering surround-view camera technology. The Infiniti EX35 was one of the first vehicles to offer such a system. More than a decade after introducing surround-view cameras, a wide variety of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles provide it, from the inexpensive Nissan Versa to the luxurious Infiniti QX80 SUV. Not only that, the tech has spread to every other automaker.