Could your side view mirrors disappear soon? Maybe…
At this year’s CES show, formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show, BMW showed us what a mirrorless car will look like. Can you imagine a car where all the mirrors are replaced with cameras? It’s hard to believe that this will be possible soon. But not too soon…
This technology is hot off the production line. The cameras have not yet been accepted because they’re so new and the research isn’t solid. The BMW i8, the car at the CES show, has two cameras in place of the driver and passenger exterior mirrors as well as a third camera that rests on the upper edge of the back windshield. That third camera diminishes any blind spots. Where your rearview mirror typically is, you’ll find a high-resolution display that merges the images from all three cameras mounted on the vehicle.
You’ll never need to adjust your mirrors again!
Not only can these cameras give you a full view of what’s happening behind your vehicle, but they can also interpret what’s happening. The system can assess a situation and determine if you need to take action.
For instance, if you’re driving on the highway and need to pass the car in front of you, you would signal and switch to the left lane. If you engage your turn indicator, the system will evaluate the traffic around you. So if a car is coming up quickly in that left lane, a warning icon will flash on the system’s display to let you know that it’s not safe for you to get over yet.
But your side view mirrors won’t be replaced just yet…
As of now, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not approved the idea of replacing mirrors with cameras in vehicles. The technology is fresh and hasn’t undergone extensive research. Since government rules still require mirrors, it’s hard to see this technology being introduced to mainstream vehicles too soon.
One of the major downfalls of the technology is that if the cameras get dirty, your visibility is compromised. However, this is also true for the mirrors we rely on today.
Cost will be a major factor
Finally, the cost of the system will be the ultimate factor. As of right now, it’s not an affordable addition to your vehicle. You will likely see these camera systems in luxury vehicles in the near future, but because the technology is so new, it’s also expensive. The average vehicle may implement the system once more companies are able to test and mass market the products to drive the price will down.