Does BMW Really Think It Can Make Mirrors Obsolete?

Technology / 16 Comments

Yes, and it wants to do so soon.

A lot of modern day vehicles have technology that is supposed to make cars safer than ever and easier to drive. BMW is at the forefront of this and is looking into replacing conventional side mirrors with cameras on production vehicles as early as 2019. This shouldn't come as a surprise since BMW introduced the i8 Mirrorless Concept at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) last year. What is surprising is the amount of time BMW thinks it will take to turn the technology into reality on production vehicles.

The i8 Mirrorless Concept utilizes two large cameras that are held in aerodynamic holds in place of traditional exterior mirrors. BMW also placed a third camera onto the concept's rear windscreen. All of the images are displayed as a single image on a high-resolution display in the position of the rearview mirror. No adjustment of the cameras is necessary and the display is roughly 300 millimeters wide and 75 millimeters high. A report from Focus reveals that BMW development chief Elmar Frickenstien believes that the mirrorless technology is about three years away from making it into production and will provide additional comfort, improved safety and even reduced fuel consumption.

While the technology was revealed on the i8, there are other vehicles that will be suitable for the launch of the technology in 2019. "First, should there be a development like a mirror camera, it will trickle from top to bottom in the upcoming model family," stated Frickenstein. "The problem is that the whole thing takes a lot of computing power and a lot of money. If you network camera systems with driver assistance systems, then it generates added value for customers, in my view. The dead angle is the past." Apparently, BMW really hates having a blind side.

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