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Transportation Technology

Will Cameras Replace Sideview Mirrors On Cars In 2018? 496

cartechboy (2660665) writes "Just the other day we read about how the Department of Transportation will require all manufacturers to include rearview cameras on all new cars produced after May 1, 2018. But there's something else auto manufacturers are pushing for, the ability to replace sideview mirrors with cameras in 2018. Tesla in particular is pushing for this to happen as traditional mirrors are bulky, and not very aerodynamic. That lump of plastic can cause surprising amounts of drag on an otherwise smooth car body. Camera units are much smaller and can be made streamlined, or even mounted nearly flush with the body, thus reducing aerodynamic drag. The idea has been around since the 1990s, and many concept cars have used cameras instead of sideview mirrors for years. But how will NHTSA respond? Is it finally time to ditch the sideview mirror?"
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Will Cameras Replace Sideview Mirrors On Cars In 2018?

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  • nope! (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @08:29PM (#46644989)


  • Re:nope! (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @08:34PM (#46645027)
    Agree ... do not want. One more thing to go wrong, and then you're looking at an expensive repair rather than something you could take care of yourself, just to keep the car legal. Plus people are used to looking over there to see what's behind them, it could cause all kinds of distraction trying to switch the dashboard TV set between navigation mode and rear view mode. Keep focused on getting the weight of the battery pack down instead.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @08:40PM (#46645101)

    It won't be cheaper because everyone will have their own vehicles-specific mounts, adapters and enclosures which they will sell at ridiculous rates like every other car part.

  • by bob_super ( 3391281 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @08:43PM (#46645133)

    If you have a camera embedded inside a side panel and it needs to be replaced, the cost of the camera will often not be your biggest issue...

  • by Bobberly ( 1677220 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @08:56PM (#46645249)
    Because no one wants to invest in the amount of research and testing required to get a part certified by the FAA. All it takes is one aircraft to crash because of "smoke in the cockpit" from one of these devices to end them. Technically, I could face penalties for unauthorized aircraft modifications for attaching my GoPro to the wing.
  • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @08:58PM (#46645269)
    The only reason you have to move your head around with a side mirror is because they are placed very close to where your peripheral vision ends. Consequently, if you're sitting facing forward, for a mirror to show the region between where the rearview mirror's view ends (almost straight back) to where your peripheral vision picks up (almost straight to the side), it has to have a very large field of view.

    With a camera, you have the option of mounting it at the front corners of the car instead of by the driver, The display can still be by the driver, but the camera can be way in front. It can then show the same area using a much smaller field of view. The blind spot will still be there, but it'll be pushed out to 2-3 lanes away, making it irrelevant.
  • by tokencode ( 1952944 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @09:54PM (#46645637)
    This is exactly what I was thinking. A mirror provides both eyes with information, allowing you to gauge depth easily. Depth sensors etc could be used to provide some additional cues, but it is tough to be replace the usefulness of true binocular vision. While my backup camera is great, it definitely is not a replacement for my rearview mirror for this reason.
  • by sconeu ( 64226 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @10:11PM (#46645741) Homepage Journal

    I had to replace a side view mirror about 6 months ago. $150.

  • by caseih ( 160668 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @11:56PM (#46646261)

    Many Airbus planes do have some cameras that the pilots can use. Usually in the tail. I was on a 777 recently that had at least 3 cameras that you could view via the inflight entertainment system. Was very cool.

  • Re:Judging Distance (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 03, 2014 @01:56AM (#46646659)

    If mirrors are so good at depth perception, why do they all have "objects in mirror are closer than they appear" printed on them?

    They don't. At least not in other parts of the world.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell