Are side mirrors becoming a thing of the past?
With the advent of self-driving cars and autonomous technologies, new laws and regulations are now making it possible for automakers to replace side mirror systems with cameras and monitors.
While seemingly uncanny, this mirrorless design is already starting to show up as an experimental concept in prototype autonomous vehicles. How will this transformation impact the way we drive in the future?
Blind Spots No More
Eliminating side mirrors will mean eliminating their biggest design flaw – the blind spot. An assembly of strategically placed cameras called a Camera Monitoring System (CMS) will do away with this problem by allowing drivers to monitor the road through a series of monitors inside the car, thereby providing a wider blind-spot-free field of vision.
Camera systems will also remove other viewing obstructions caused by external factors such as weather and other vehicles on the road.
Kia Ray Concept
Replacing side mirrors with a camera system that weighs significantly less will mean that the weight of your vehicle will be reduced as well. In addition, one less feature mounted to the exterior of a vehicle will create a more streamlined design that results in better performance with reduced air resistance. With improved aerodynamics, cars will deliver better fuel efficiency at high speeds with significantly less wind and road noise.
Flexibility in Design
With a mirrorless system, automakers will be able to be more creative with car designs. Unlike side mirrors which have to be placed in one designated spot, camera systems can be located more flexibly which allows for the incorporation of unconventional shapes and aesthetics.
Kia GT Concept
Kia Novo Concept
Kia has showcased many mirrorless concept cars in the past and with the development of new road regulations and CMS technologies it seems that the realization of such conceptual designs is now closer than ever to becoming a reality.
While visible progress into the era of mirrorless cars is being made, the idea is still very much limited to prototypes. Aiming for more innovation, Kia is actively developing mirrorless systems to conceive more sophisticated and safer vehicles for future generations. What are your thoughts on mirrorless driving?
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