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Side cameras instead of mirrors

Discussion in 'Design' started by Ken Hixson, Apr 5, 2016.

More threads by Ken Hixson
  1. Ken Hixson

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    Wonder if Tesla is considering eliminating the side mirrors to their cars and replacing them with side cameras that would present the views either as sides to the rear view mirror or on the 15" display? I know regulations might have some say but if the functionality is the same then why not get rid of the drag these exterior mirrors create and eliminate another thing that gets broken, scratched, or vandalized so much?
     
  2. Reggie

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    I know that there are several commercial vehicles that have done something like this in the US, but I'd be concerned about how much that would cost. Considering that this is supposed to have a 35K base, the price of something like that would definitely raise it.
     
  3. Ken Hixson

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    Not certain the costs should rise much if at all. Already have the display inside and most backup cameras are really inexpensive, You wouldn't need movement controls as it isn't a function of where the driver sits in relationship to the angle of the mirror so the remote mirror controls would be eliminated and also the folding mirrors (including the power folding mirrors in the Model S) wouldn't need to be included with their brackets, cables, etc.

    I was thinking that the location of the camera could be the Tesla side emblem just forward of the front doors would make it less visible or obvious so it could be a clean addition.
     
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    • Reggie

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      Well, I know that the original Model X concept (and, to be fair, the BMW i8 Concept) all had a mirrorless design and concept. Essentially, the rearview mirror acted as the screen to show you the full view around your car. It definitely takes getting used to because our eyes are trained to go that route. But, it is paving the way to the future. The issue with them comes cost. It's not the cameras that are expensive because cameras are relatively inexpensive. Rather, the problem is the costs associated with testing, R&D, driving with them, etc. Mirrors are inexpensive and work. Cameras have a lifespan, subject to malfunction, and require you to place display somewhere. The touchscreen makes sense to put it there, but you have to spend time perfecting the UX and UI for that.

      Who knows though, part 2 may be just that and the mirrors go away. If they can pull it off and keep the car at $35K, would be awesome.
       
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      • MelindaV

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        I believe the mirrors went back onto the X because of the US DOT not signing off on the digital mirrors. Sounds like TeslaMotors is still working on convincing them they can work and/or will be reliable.
         
      • DomD

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      • Topher

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        Not at all clear it would be more expensive. Cost of cameras and display - Cost of deleted mirrors - Cost of deleted batteries due to improved coefficient of drag = Final cost. Anyone have guesses as to what those numbers are?

        Thank you kindly.
         
      • Daliman

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        Topper love your colour choice. I am confident that Tesla is working on this and that the cost if any would be made up in improved drag coefficient. However here in Canada there are about 10 regulations that would have to be changed to allow for a vehicle without a mirror or to redefine the concept to include a camera and display which capture the same information that a mirror is required to. I assume the regulations in the US and Europe are similar. It wouldn't surprise me if a concept like this got adopted in India or China first. Unless one or more of the larger auto makers also wants to implement this type of system I expect the change in regulations will take some time.
         
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        • Zachary LaVoie

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          I honestly don't know how much it would help aerodynamics. Yes it would help, but they aren't overly large as it, I think the change would be very small, not enough to make a noticeable change in range. Of course, it would be cool as an option. Even small changes in range make the electric vehicle movement more desirable. The more desirable EVs become, the cheaper they become.
           
        • Topher

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          Elon said that they were making 0.1mm changes to improve aerodynamics; they would *love* to make a 6 inch change. The difference between 0.21 and 0.20 (and it would probably be more) could be as much as 10 miles of range.

          Thank you kindly.
           
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          • Badback

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            So, if cameras were used instead of mirrors, would the image be reversed to mimic a mirror?
             
          • Topher

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            That is the way current back up cameras work.

            Thank you kindly.
             
          • Bon

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            I would like to keep the cost down and save the battery.
             
          • TrevP

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            #14 TrevP, Jun 15, 2016
            Last edited: Jun 15, 2016
            Tesla and others have been pushing the ISO to allow this, at least since the Model X prototype that was shown since 2012. As of April 2015 it's been in stage 60:60 which is "International Standard Published". I think each country is on it's own to allow it once it's done.

            Here's the link if you want to see the latest:

            http://www.iso.org/iso/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=56896
             
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            • AZ Desert Driver

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              My conspiratory theory allows that Big Auto has insisted Tesla install noise makers (pedestrian warnings) because they can harass a better design by imposing archaic features. Imposing mirrors falls right in line. Whats next - a tailpipe that emits just enough junk?
               
            • KirbyTurbo

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              Great find, and very interesting.
               
            • AZ Desert Driver

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              I have several times bruised my ribs and arms trying to slither past mirrors (often in a hurry and oblivious to them). I can see Summon being helpful at tucking a car into a narrow space, made just a tad bigger by camera mirrors. I can see fewer blind spots with camera than with kinks in the neck. Lots of reasons why this is a good thing. Who is against it? Is it just "don't like new stuff" inertia, or active resistance by those-other- guys?
               
            • garsh

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              #18 garsh, Jun 24, 2016
              Last edited: Jun 24, 2016
              I think it's just typical government bureaucracy inertia. I don't believe that anybody's actually against it.
               
            • MelindaV

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              I believe the law is worded to only require a driver side mirror (like my '67) so technically, carmakers could replace the passenger side with a camera and prove it works while keeping the driver side physical mirror to appease the current law. Could be an incremental step toward removing both. IDK...
               
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              • garsh

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