Is the Death of Side Mirrors Next for Ford?
There are times when technology doesn’t evolve fast enough to catch up to reality, such as in the medical field, but there are times when technology has evolved faster than human law can grasp. Such is the case of camera technology.
Car and truck side mirrors have been around for decades, and have become a relatively stagnant feature on automotive design. Side mirrors can be made tall, wide, sleek, thin and even extremely aerodynamic, but in the end—they’re still there. Much to the disappointment of designers.
For many reasons, most of them logical, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration dictates that all vehicles on the road must be equipped with functioning glass side mirrors, and not cameras or any other kind of transmitting device. Boiled down, their argument is that mirrors are dependable, and cameras aren’t, and they have a point.
Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Cadillac and almost every other auto manufacturer is currently testing camera systems to replace side and rearview mirrors, just like they tested backup cameras 10 years ago. It’s the evolution of things, and the next logical step.
While going mirror-less could help vehicle aerodynamics, cabin quietness, and even fuel-efficiency, I wouldn’t count on seeing mirrors go away anytime soon. With such systems still in its infancy stage, expect much more developing, testing, and lobbying on behalf of automakers to turn this into a reality.
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Photos via: [NY Times]