It’s obvious but true: it’s hard to get to where you want to be if you have poor visibility. As the Elio is new and unique, we field questions every day about virtually every aspect of the vehicle. One common question is will the vehicle provide Elio drivers enough visibility. The short answer is yes. The longer answer is below.
The overall Driver Ergonomics and Packing Study used by our engineering team evaluates many different aspects of the driver-vehicle interface. These include reach studies, clearance studies, as well as visibility studies. Additional in-depth studies of ergonomic areas have been completed to validate the design and layout of the vehicle. The Elio is designed to meet all comfort and interface metrics that are standard in automotive applications.
Many observers have noted that the cabin of the Elio is reminiscent of a cockpit. Our design allows for excellent frontward and side visibility. Our engineers have conducted a study of the instrument cluster to ensure that the cluster gauges and warning lights are sufficiently visible to the driver. The cluster study has validated the design.
When the uninitiated look at our vehicle, they commonly remark that we do not use a rearview mirror or have glass in the back, the “rear window” This observation inevitably leads to the question “How is the rearview visibility in the Elio?” Our size and configuration allow for the side mirrors to essentially cross right behind the rear of the vehicle. Additionally, having tandem seating eliminates the need for a rearview mirror as the mirror would allow you to see yourself only.
We have conducted anecdotal testing on our tour stops. The “test” was simple: we had an average sized adult male stand directly behind the vehicle to test the driver’s rear view. With the Elio’s design, the driver can clearly see the individual through both side view mirrors. The results are compelling for the person sitting in the driver’s seat and others that were there, but it is anecdotal evidence, which is not enough for our engineering team.
To verify visibility of the mirrors the engineers conducted a Mirror Study. During that study, our engineers found a longer than desired blind spot behind the vehicle, which led them to find a new mirror mounting bracket that moved the mirror outboard and reduced the blind spots to a much smaller area. These changes have resulted in much better visibility, making the Elio’s rearview visibility similar to what the driver is used to today.
One item, of many, that we plan on offering through our ePlus: My Elio, My Way option program directly addresses rear visibility, and for many a must-have option, the rear-view camera. A rearview camera will allow that extra little bit of visibility that we have all come to depend on and will absolutely be available as an option. Through both our natural design and available options, visibility will not be an issue in the Elio.