People with stiff necks and particularly short drivers are likely to rejoice when they see the latest car-safety innovation from Panasonic Japan - a rear-view camera and monitor rig.

The ¥40,000 (£175) GP-PD107 kit is the first in the world that isn't part of a car sat-nav system and includes a 3.5-inch monitor and quarter-megapixel camera that fixes to the rear bumper of any car.

Look, no hands

Panasonic has implemented a clever activation system that switches on the camera and monitor when the driver slips the car into reverse gear, which is nice for those of us who can't - or can't be bothered - looking over our shoulders.

Should that convenience be offset somewhat by the hefty price (installation not included) prospective buyers may be swayed by the system's inputs for hooking up a DVD player or PMP for a little in-car entertainment, presumably available only when driving forward.