In this year’s CES, BMW demonstrated a working concept to use cameras to replace side and rear-view mirrors. Side-view and rear-view mirrors have been a standard and compulsory part of a car since the beginning. Drivers often used them before they change lanes to see whether the next lanes are clear or when they park their cars. However, the side and rear-view mirrors have their limitation such as blind spot and it lower down the car’s aerodynamic qualities as well as creating wind noise.
BMW has found a way to replace these mirrors with cameras. There are four cameras installed around the car and the images that the cameras took, at the end of the day, would be displayed on where the rear-view mirror should be. The rear-view mirror is replaced by a LCD screen. The end result is a clear, unblocked and wide panoramic view of traffic to the rear and sides. The cameras installed are slimmer and more aerodynamic than traditional mirrors. On top of that they are covered by Gorilla Glass and come with heating element to melt snow and ice; therefore, they are more weather-resistant than the traditional mirrors.
According to BMW’s project manager of Camera Monitor Systems, Philipp Hoffmann, they improved the car’s aerodynamics by 3 percent, leading to about a 1 percent increase in range.
BMW will be implementing the camera systems on a BMW i8. Currently the company is talking to government officials to modify the rules which mandate the usage of actual mirrors for side visibility. It is reported that the testing on European roads will be started this year while the approval from US Department of Transportation will likely to be done for 2017.