Electronics and Semiconductors

Is replacing rearview mirrors with cameras in vehicles advantageous?

25 March 2020
Potentially how the rearview replacement in the form of cameras might look like in the future. Source: Daimler

The rearview mirror has been a staple in automobiles for decades, but engineers at Daimler are investigating the feasibility of replacing rearview mirrors with cameras.

The MirrorCam from Daimler replaces the rearview and wide-angle mirrors that cover large areas of the car. It swivels an image from the camera mounted toward the inside of the bend of the vehicle so that the driver has the end of the trailer in view. The system is set for standard semi-trailers, but it can be regulated individually.

Advantages to using cameras over standard mirrors include:

  • Improved aerodynamics and corresponding reduction in fuel consumption by as much as 1.5%.
  • Increased traffic safety due to better visibility.
  • Reduced mist or dirt buildup due to a special coating.
  • Heated cameras that are activated on cold and damp days.

Additionally, the MirrorCam features distance indicator lines to help drivers estimate the distances behind the truck. Three fixed lines are shown together with a line that the driver can adjust to mark the end of the vehicle before starting a journey. This can be used in combination with the displays for the assistance systems.

The light transmission of the camera is high and results in light that is brighter than natural light, so drivers receive better information about its surroundings. It works both on the open road and in tunnels. When it is completely dark outside, the MirrorCam will show only the areas illuminated by the vehicle itself.

The system is not in place yet for widespread use, but it could eventually be included in future vehicles.

To contact the author of this article, email PBrown@globalspec.com

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