Hardcore car enthusiasts have a difficult time letting go of certain old-school technology like manual transmissions, even though it’s been proven that a cutting-edge automatic gearbox can shift as smooth and fast as any human. But I doubt that most motorists miss, say, crank windows or manual steering, reports Forbes.
The venerable side mirror could be the next vehicle feature to get relegated to the dust bin, and its demise may be overdue since new and better solutions now exist. In a story titled “End of the Road May Be Near for Side Mirrors,” New York Times writer John R. Quain gave a good overview of the technology ready to replace the “Mickey Mouse ears” on cars and its benefits beyond aesthetics.
“There’s significant noise reduction, and there’s potential for CO2 reduction because of reduced drag and improved fuel economy,” Dean McConnell, director of customer programs for advanced driver assistance systems at automotive supplier Continental, told Quain. More importantly, “there’s also the increased field of view” that camera-based systems provide, McConnell added.
Continental replaced the side mirrors on a Mercedes-Benz CLS with thumb-sized video cameras that are tied into screens on the left and right side of the dashboard near where a driver would typically glance to check a mirror. The camera view is much broader than a physical mirror provides and eliminates blind spots. And unlike mirrors, cameras and software can also automatically adjust what a driver sees to reduce glare in bright sunlight or increase brightness at night.
Automakers are already augmenting side and rearview mirrors with cameras.