Thousands of new vehicles are being sold with rearview cameras that display what’s behind you on either the navigation system screen or some other video display when the transmission is in reverse. Still more aftermarket units that perform the same duty are being purchased. In most cases, that’s all they do: show what’s behind you. More sophisticated integrated systems have the ability to detect objects (or more importantly, people), but again, not every system does.
Audiovox wants to change that with its Advent PWM400. In basic terms, it’s a module that piggybacks on an OEM backup camera system. It can distinguish a moving person from a stationary object from up to 15 feet away, and it provides warnings of both the visual (on the factory screen) and audible (via an included auxiliary speaker). While we fancy our driving skills to be above the need for such “crutches,” and feel that they can lead to laziness and inattentiveness, any gizmo that can potentially save lives (particularly young ones) is okay in our book.