Age-old questions of whether traditional sun visors serve more as a hindrance to a driver's field of view than as an aid also apply to today's chunky A-pillars.
A-pillars, the vertical supports that anchor the windshield and provide a foundation for the roof, can block pedestrians, signs and other vehicles from a driver's view.
A-pillars have been expanded over the years under federal roof-crush standards to act as a safety feature. But the beefier the pillar, the more obstructed the view.
To address these concerns, supplier Continental developed what the company calls a virtual A-pillar.
It combines Continental's external surround-view vision systems with curved displays mounted on the A-pillar and a driver monitoring camera inside the vehicle. They create what appears like a window on the A-pillar.
"Rollover prevention or rollover accident safety is still paramount when you think of overall vehicle structure," Zack Bolton, innovation lead at Continental Interior Systems and Technology North America, told Shift.