Playing 'find the hidden camera in the car' at the Detroit Auto Show

By Todd C. Frankel

Automakers have taken different approaches to hiding the technology that is increasingly common in vehicles, such as this Cadilliac CT6 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Photo / Bloomberg
Automakers have taken different approaches to hiding the technology that is increasingly common in vehicles, such as this Cadilliac CT6 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Photo / Bloomberg

The camera was there. Somewhere on the front of the 2017 Cadillac CT6. The new car has Super Cruise, the ability to drive autonomously on some highways and in tight traffic. That requires a forward-facing camera.

But where did Cadillac hide it?

You see it by accident, as you're walking past row after row of shiny new vehicles.

The Cadillac emblem bolted on the front is pointing at it: A black circle between the chrome perpendicular lines of the front grille. That's the Cadillac's camera.

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Now, you can't stop seeing the cameras. And you start looking for them everywhere at the North America International Auto Show.

As automakers stuff ever-more technology into their vehicles - adding features that help drive and park - they need to find new ways of hiding it.

Many vehicles today offer lane departure warnings and alerts to large animals or assisted emergency braking. Many of these features require new sensors on the front of a vehicle.

The two hard-to-notice circles on many bumpers? Those are near-field radars. But cameras can't be painted over or obstructed.

Walking around the auto show, it's clear some automakers are better than others at hiding the cameras. They were a bit easy to find on some Mercedes-Benzs. The Ford Fusion Platinum has two cameras. The Chevrolet Stingray has two cameras, as well.

Not all automakers put the cameras in the front grill or bumper.

In some models, Suburu uses two cameras next to its rear-view mirror to power its EyeSight technology, which includes adaptive cruise control and pre-collision braking. Some Chevrolet Malibus have a single camera by the rear-view mirror.

And sometimes, you see the camera only to discover later, when you scan back through your photos that you can't recall where it is.

That means the cameras were hidden very well, indeed.

- Washington Post

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