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The Rearview Camera is an Android app that uses OpenXC and a standard USB webcam to add a rear-facing camera to a car that didn’t come equipped with one from the factory. Charles Reitz developed the first version of this app as a summer intern at Ford in 2012.

Rearview cameras are undeniably useful, and have been found to minimize accidents while backing up. They will even be required in all new cars in the United states, starting in 2014. What about all the existing cars on the road? Using OpenXC to determine the current gear and the support for USB webcams in most Android devices, you can make a relatively inexpensive aftermarket system.

Disclaimer: This application is intended to be used with a display device that has a fixed, preferably permanent location in the vehicle (mounted on the dashboard, for example). Never mount anything on the dash such that the driver’s view is impeded. While the rearview camera application may help increase visibility, the OpenXC platform does not make any claims of a safety benefit. This application is intended as a proof-of-concept.

Rearview Camera Sequence