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Drew Dowdell

Industry News: NHTSA Testing Mirrorless Cars

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has begun testing vehicles that have cameras in place of real mirrors.  The request to test such devices goes back to March of 2014 when the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers along with Tesla filed a petition with the NHTSA to get approval to install based rear or side vision cameras and screens  in their vehicles.  Daimler filed a similar petition in 2015 for their heavy duty trucks. Japan and Europe have already approved the technology. 

The first car with cameras replacing the side mirrors was the Lexus ES sold in Japan, followed by the Audi e-tron in Europe back in December.  Both vehicles are sold in the U.S. with standard mirrors instead of the cameras.  Honda's coming Honda e will have the technology standard when it goes on sale in Europe later this year.

Mirrorless systems are an area where the legislation has not yet caught up with the technology according to Mark Dahncke of Audi.


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Excited for this as I can see auto's having numbs on the sides giving a far cleaner look and better visibility off a HD screen.

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But... they still have the pods on the side of the car... I'm not sure how much of an advancement it is.

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2 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

But... they still have the pods on the side of the car... I'm not sure how much of an advancement it is.

I expect those pods to go away to numbs on the side.

I expect auto's to go this route:

See the source image

 

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The Tesla Roadster 2.0 has mirror numbs also so a very clean look and side profile.

See the source image

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SO much better to cast your eyes in the direction of where you intend to move (aka; merging left) than in the opposite directions. Easiler to catch someone coming out of your blind spot & into your peripheral. That said, some vehicles have pretty small side views.
I like some of the rearview tech, such as Cadillacs, but you're looking in the same direction in that case.

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3 minutes ago, balthazar said:

SO much better to cast your eyes in the direction of where you intend to move (aka; merging left) than in the opposite directions. Easiler to catch someone coming out of your blind spot & into your peripheral. That said, some vehicles have pretty small side views.
I like some of the rearview tech, such as Cadillacs, but you're looking in the same direction in that case.

What do you think of an implementation like Lexus version?

See the source image

I myself do not mind it, while I hate BMW version.

See the source image

Audi's implementation is not bad, I think a better integration than Lexus.

See the source image

VW has a nice integration that is probably same parts as Audi.

See the source image

I can also see side nubs like this for the cameras.

See the source image

 

 

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43 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

A lot of expensive tech to what benefit? Mirrors work

Exactly my thought. When that tech goes on the fritz (and it will) one will wish they had that low tech mirror. 

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9 minutes ago, surreal1272 said:

Exactly my thought. When that tech goes on the fritz (and it will) one will wish they had that low tech mirror. 

The problem with mirrors is that somebody could just act like a vandal and break them.  The advantage is that mirror replacement is cheap compared to those cameras if someone vandalizes your car.

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Mirrors aren't exactly cheap, either. Power control, sometimes heated, and almost always you have to buy the entire assembly. It's hundreds to start.

All the 'side view camera' images David posted above suck- both in integration, and field of vision. A distraction.

Only reason I can see for overly-complicating side views is for aerodynamics, tho at the average speed most cars travel, it's pointless.

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7 minutes ago, balthazar said:

Mirrors aren't exactly cheap, either. Power control, sometimes heated, and almost always you have to buy the entire assembly. It's hundreds to start.
 

Yeah, I had to replace a whole mirror assembly on my Jeep when the lower surround of it was cracked.  Was $380 to replace (incl. labor).   Have to take off the interior door panel to unbolt it and disconnect the wires..

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, riviera74 said:

The problem with mirrors is that somebody could just act like a vandal and break them.  The advantage is that mirror replacement is cheap compared to those cameras if someone vandalizes your car.

Which is exactly my point to my last post. Cheaper to maintain by a country mile. Oh and some insurance coverage plans will cover a broken mirror. Your HD side view screen goes out? Better talk to the manufacturer and hope it’s still under warranty. 

Edited by surreal1272
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Good News cost of S-Class side mirrors have dropped in the last few years. Bad News ya still looking at $570 to $675 dollars for the mirror module and then installation, so I bet a cool $1,500 for the repair of a broken mirror. 

Estimate on the Camera nubs is probably  $1,500 to $2,500 depending on brand.

image.png

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Just now, dfelt said:

Good News cost of S-Class side mirrors have dropped in the last few years. Bad News ya still looking at $570 to $675 dollars for the mirror module and then installation, so I bet a cool $1,500 for the repair of a broken mirror. 

Estimate on the Camera nubs is probably  $1,500 to $2,500 depending on brand.

image.png

Thus solidifying my point. There’s a camera AND a screen to contend with in that situation. 

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Love technology and advancement...but this continues to come off as more of a concept car experiment than anything. Mirrors still work.

Small gear shifters still work too, vs. haptic feedback buttons. Advance the efficiency, advance the refinement, advance the safety...but another HD camera and another screen?

Interesting but not needed. Curious to see who and what gets this first, if anything, here.

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1 hour ago, caddycruiser said:

Love technology and advancement...but this continues to come off as more of a concept car experiment than anything. Mirrors still work.

Small gear shifters still work too, vs. haptic feedback buttons. Advance the efficiency, advance the refinement, advance the safety...but another HD camera and another screen?

Interesting but not needed. Curious to see who and what gets this first, if anything, here.

More than that, but those of us who have been driving a while have been trained to look in the mirrors. It would take a while to get used to looking at a different spot.

The Center rearview mirror like Cadillac and Toyota have is different. You still look in the same spot for that.  They don't work as well at night though.

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Another issue is taking your focal point from a transparent surface (the window) and moving to an opaque one (the door panel). That’s a possible step back from the optimum.

A LOT of ‘new tech’ (OEMs have been toying with camera mirrors for around 60 years now) is ‘just because we can’.

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One could do their own DIY version of this by mounting Ring stick up cams on the outside of their car and connecting them to their phone wifi... ;)

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1 hour ago, balthazar said:

A LOT of ‘new tech’ (OEMs have been toying with camera mirrors for around 60 years now) is ‘just because we can’.

Isn't that what the automobile was in the first place? There was never truly a "need" for an automobile. 

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18 hours ago, riviera74 said:

The problem with mirrors is that somebody could just act like a vandal and break them.  The advantage is that mirror replacement is cheap compared to those cameras if someone vandalizes your car.

Who will make all of those videos on Youtube of guys on motorcycles busting off the mirrors of bad drivers if cars no longer have them?

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I will say that I do like the Tesla Semi truck incorporation of side mirror cameras and views.

image.png

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