Today’s cars are more computer than anything else, with technology taking new leaps every year. These technologies are making our vehicles safer and more convenient in so many ways, and it’s likely we’ll even see cars move toward becoming fully automated in just a few years. It’s not uncommon for cars to come with features such as built-in GPS and external cameras built standard.
As we continue to push toward cars with more external cameras, some people are wondering, why haven’t side mirrors been replaced yet? The technology exists, but only a few manufacturers have started looking at making the switch.
There are a few factors causing the delay:
- Safety risks
- Maintenance challenges
- Quality and design concerns
Here’s a breakdown of those delaying factors and the challenges they pose for car manufacturers:
One of the main reasons why cameras haven’t replaced side mirrors yet is the cost. Side mirrors are relatively inexpensive to install, replace, and repair, but this isn’t the case for camera systems. Side cameras will increase the upfront cost of a car and are more expensive to maintain and repair.
A major advantage of side and rear view mirrors is the real-time view of what’s happening around your vehicle. You get the image directly, whereas, from a camera, the image is captured and then sent to a separate display screen. This additional step creates the potential for a delay in information. Every second counts while you’re on the road, so this delay can be dangerous.
Even if your side mirror is cracked, it’s still useable. This won’t be the case with side cameras, which can leave you blind on the road if they malfunction. In addition to the increase in time and cost to repair or replace a side camera, it’s also difficult for police officers to spot whether you have a functioning camera, which makes it harder to enforce traffic violations.
Quality and Design Concerns
Picture quality and display placement are other big concerns for car manufacturers. The camera will need to have a high enough resolution to be useful at night and during inclement weather, and the location of the camera display needs to be optimized to make it easily accessible to drivers.