Visit any auto show and you're bound to see a futuristic concept with out any sideview or rearview mirrors. Instead, you'll find cameras that do the same function. This technology will soon be appearing on production vehicles in Japan.
Japan's transport ministry has approved the use of cameras and video screens to take the place of mirrors on production vehicles. This comes after a decision made in November by the United Nations World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations allowing automakers to replace rear and sideview mirrors with cameras.
Proponents of camera systems say it provides a wider field of vision and makes a vehicle more aerodynamic. But switching to a camera does have some pitfalls. One is a mirror is a simple thing and can be fixed quite easily. The same cannot be said for a camera system. Also as Automotive News points out that while a camera system eliminates blind spots due to rear pillars, some drivers rely on those pillars to gauge where an object is.
For now, the transport ministry is requiring automakers to place cameras and screens in the same place as mirrors to help a driver get used to this technology.
“Getting used to (monitors instead of mirrors) is the main factor to ensure drivers’ safety,” said transport ministry official Masaru Miya$h!a.
It is expected that other countries will follow suit in the coming years.