As a development partner with Volkswagen, already in 2012 Kappa optronics has developed an innovative, complex camera solution that represented a technical breakthrough on an international scale. The goal was to develop a camera, eligible for certification under the German Road Traffic Ordinance, that can fully process the complex light relationships and physical operational demands of road traffic.
Development concentrated first and foremost on the highly integrated construction of camera and optics, qualification for extreme environmental conditions including skillful use of the camera’s own waste heat and the utilization of Kappa signal processing far beyond the customary standards for cameras at the time. The final camera/monitor system fulfilled all legal requirements and served as an alternative to conventional rearview mirrors.
The digital exterior mirror offers considerable potential for energy and emissions savings through improved aerodynamics, and on the other hand it ensures increased road safety in difficult lighting conditions. The first series application was not for nothing as an "e-mirror" in the then "most efficient car in the world," the Volkswagen XL1.
The development partners Volkswagen Group and Kappa were awarded the Göttingen Innovation Prize 2012 for the digital side mirror in the VW XL1. Kappa's complex camera solution is integrated into the gullwing doors of the VW XL1 and completely replaces the conventional side mirrors.