Monday, May 27, 2013


A review from lfrom Leftlane:

Since the Accord's LCD screen is mounted high on the dashboard, it allows drivers to quickly – and safely – give it a glance while on the go. A large obstruction like a vehicle should be immediately visible.

Although the picture quality is hardly high definition, it does give a clear enough view of the car's blind spot regardless of sunlight conditions. At night, we found LaneWatch arguably more effective since a vehicle's lights were very easy to see.

Over the course of a week in our Accord test vehicle, we quickly got used to glancing at the LCD screen before attempting to move into another lane.

We didn't like having the screen up at all times, although we contend that there might be some high traffic situations where being able to constantly view a car behind you is desirable.

On the downside, LaneWatch takes up the entire LCD screen, so any audio or navigation functions that were displayed there disappear while the camera is active. This is hardly a convenience for drivers, but passengers flipping through radio stations or programming an entry into the navigation system were often mildly irritated by the changing screen.

Also, LaneWatch doesn't audibly alert drivers if they start to move into an occupied lane the way some blind spot monitors do.

Leftlane's bottom line
Is LaneWatch a replacement for a blind spot monitor? Not quite, but it's an interesting effort that will probably impress buyers in the showroom.

Although we're still bigger fans of defensive driving – which includes properly adjusting outside mirrors - we've grown used to the prevalence of blind spot monitors in new vehicles. As a result, we're used to having sensors on either side of the vehicle alert us of an occupied lane. Since LaneWatch only keeps track of the passenger side, its usefulness is comparatively limited.

That said, Honda has so far been aggressive about including LaneWatch at a price point where most competitors don't offer a blind spot monitor. Given the value equation, LaneWatch strikes us as a solid effort.

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