It took me a while, but I’ve begun to love my Alltrack’s backup camera. It’s really good at showing me what’s down the alley — is a car coming? — while reversing out of my garage.
It’s useful for seeing what’s to the sides, not just what’s directly behind, because it uses a wide-angle lens. I’d estimate it’s roughly a 15mm lens viewing angle equivalent in 35mm photography.
Volkswagen calls it a rear view camera.
The Rear View camera helps the driver when he is reversing. The camera image in the display of the radio or radio/navigation system shows the area behind the vehicle.
Rear View helps with parking by superimposing guidelines over the camera image. These show the path the vehicle will take with the current steering wheel setting, and when the steering wheel has to be turned.
This allows the vehicle to be backed up to any obstacle, regardless of whether it is a bumper or a kerbstone. And coupling up a trailer is no longer a problem.
And of course it’s great for simply knowing when you’re close enough to the parked car behind you while you’re parking.
On my Golf Alltrack, I like how the camera is hidden inside the VW logo/liftgate handle. The VW disc flips up automatically when reverse is engaged, and the video from the camera is sent to the infotainment display screen on the dash.
Backup cameras will be required for all new cars sold starting in 11 months, in the United States. Naturally, this is not applicable to cars made before May, 2018, so if you have a car made up to then you do not need to install a backup camera. It’s not retroactive in other words.