Curved mirrors alone are not news; a mirror with an "objects in mirror are closer than they appear" warning features a curve that affords the driver a wider-than-normal field of view. This greater field of view comes at a price -- that's why the warning is there -- images are distorted, reducing the effectiveness of the mirror. Earlier this month Drexel University mathematics professor Dr. R. Andrew Hicks was awarded a patent for a new kind of mirror. Basically, Hicks approached the problem from a mathematical standpoint, which produced a mirror of nonuniform curve. That is, instead of having one curve that was constant across the entire surface, Hicks' mirror has a more complex curve pattern, which allows the mirror a substantially larger field of view without noticeable distortion. Unfortunately, because of US automobile regulations, Hicks' mirror is unlikely to find its way into mass-produced automobiles, and will only be available as an aftermarket product.
Drexel University, Eastern University - Falls Center, 2900 W Queen Ln, Philadelphia, PA 19129, USA