Will Cameras Replace Traditional Car Mirrors?October 2, 2019
Since December, European and Japanese car companies have been selling cars equipped with cameras instead of side mirrors. Current federal regulations do not yet allow camera-based rear or side-vision systems. However, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is considering how to catch up on technology that Europe and Japan have already approved. The NHTSA will be testing the technology to examine driving behavior and lane-change maneuvering with camera-based visibility systems versus traditional mirrors.
For decades, car companies have toyed with the idea of replacing side mirrors with camera systems. Side mirrors can contribute to drag, fuel consumption, and wind noise when driving. A car with no side mirrors could cover more miles and use less fuel. In March 2014, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers petitioned the NHTSA to use camera-based technology to replace rear or side-vision systems.
Last year, the NHTSA released a report stating that they were continuing to study the issue, and that new testing would focus primarily on passenger vehicles. They would conduct tests on larger vehicles, like commercial trucks, later. Front and rear cameras can assist drivers with parking maneuvers and side cameras may provide increased visibility compared to traditional side mirrors.
Toyota’s Lexus ES and Volkswagen’s Audi e-tron model are equipped with cameras instead of mirrors. Both models are sold in the United States, but with traditional mirrors. The Honda e will go on sale in Europe later this year, and the camera-based technology will be standard. According to a spokesperson for Audi of America, automotive technology is ahead of the legislative curve in this country and mirrorless systems are just one example of that.
Reasons Why Cameras Have Not Yet Replaced Mirrors
The following factors have contributed to the delay in switching from mirrors to cameras in the United States:
- Cost: Side mirrors are relatively inexpensive, whereas side cameras are more costly, and will increase the cost of the car. They will also be more expensive to repair.
- Safety Risks: Mirrors allow the driver to see what is happening around the vehicle in real time. With cameras, the image is sent to a display screen, which creates an extra step in relaying the image.
- Maintenance Challenges: If a side mirror cracks, you can still use it and see the road. If the camera breaks, the driver may not be able to see other cars in the vicinity.
- Quality and design concerns: If the camera does not have a high enough resolution, it may not be useful at night or during bad weather.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent All Car Accident Victims
If you were injured in a car accident involving a vehicle with side cameras that were not functioning properly, contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. We will secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries and ensure that your legal rights are always protected. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.