Could we no longer have wing mirrors?
Going back to 1978 where it has been the law that all cars sold in the UK must have a least one internal and external mirror. But Japan has just become the first country to to approve the use of rear-facing camera instead of mirrors, stating that technology has moved on and s more advanced in the video display area allowing video display to be a viable or even preferable replacement.
Some concept cars now are being designed with out wing mirrors and they have been for some time, like the VW hyper-efficient XL1. VW where able to get special expemtion form the EU to build the wing mirror-less car but still as the law states normal production model cars had to have the mirrors.
With the ruling in Japan, it could mean similar regulations across the world, meaning an end to mirrors in cars.
Bit of history, Dorothy Levitt ‘book entitled The Woman and the Car (1909) which contained handy hints on driving and servicing your vehicle. This informative little handbook written with women in mind also included photographs of Dorothy taken in a variety of ‘hands on’ poses. This ‘forward thinking woman’ also advised women to carry a small hand mirror as this was ‘not only essential for repairing ones’ complexion after a drive,’ it also acted as a rear view mirror; an idea that was eventually patented in 1914.’
Modern mirrors are now of something out of the future compared what they used to be, with all this technology f warning of vehicles in your blind spots and other features.
There are a few pros and cons with both methods:
- Now a days fuel economy is everything and with the wing mirrors sticking out provided unwanted air resistance.
- Door mirrors are also on the most vulnerable part of a car, can be easily knocked off by a a careless driver and can cost you a small fortune if broken with all the new technology.
- Door mirrors have all this technology in there that really do help with your driving.
- Having cameras instead of mirrors might be hard for some driver who are so used to the mirrors and use them religiously.
- The cameras offer a wider field of vision, which could almost eliminate blind-spots, with 360 degree from the drivers seats, some cars already offer that with the reversing camera parking aid of a higher spec car.
- Camera require very little space
- Cameras could make it safer to drive depending where the camera display is positioned you may not even had to turn your head as you do for the mirrors so you attention is still on the road.
- Camera lens do need to stay clean for you to see and with all the dirt that comes off the road this could be difficult and when it rains with water droplets it may obscure your vision.
- Wing mirrors can be physically broken off but then the technology in the cars could go wrong.
Currently Japan is the only country to pass the law to use cameras instead of mirrors, so it may take a while until we start seeing these type of cars on the road.
Already with the rear view camera on cars you can see suggests that manufacturers are already thinking ahead.
If all goes well and it can be proved to work effiently, its reliable and safe there wouldn’t be much preventing the change in the UK law at some-point in the future. Even though it would lake a long time to roll out the mirror completely in the future.
Is this something you think would be a good idea …..