Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Cars replace side mirrors with cameras

When looking at a car you notice the mirrors jetting out from each side. While this has been a common feature of pretty much every car since they were invented, it is now about to change. Car companies like Mercedes and BMW are now replacing mirrors with thumb size video cameras and using interior screens inside the car. While this seems like the right move for the future I worry that more screens inside the car will distract the driver.
            These mirrors are said to be more efficient and “no matter where someone stands behind you, you can see them”(Quain). Although you will be able to see more the fact that your vision will now be more aimed inside the car seems dangerous. The fact that your vision will now be redirected will cause a change in the way people drive and can potentially be dangerous. If someone goes to look for a mirror and its not there, it can cause potential accidents. This new system will require driver training which is acknowledged, but the process of every driver who buys this new type of vehicle to go through training is unlikely. I personally wouldn’t want to take another driving course to be able to obtain this car. Although they have not said that it will be a course you physically attend, the idea of teaching without some type of hands on course seems inefficient and unreliable.
            Although they’re quirks and problems to be ironed out, car companies believe this is the future for cars. It will make producing cars less expensive and these video cameras also have some more features. As well as replacing side mirrors they can recognize and gauge the speed of objects around the car, as well as aid in automatic braking and parking. These features seem like they will help the amount of collisions we have now a days. In another article by Damon Lavrinc, he says that replacing mirrors with cameras also will reduce fuel consumption. So although they’re negatives, the positives are apparent.
            All in all these mirrors seem to be what we’re heading towards in terms of future cars. Technology is always moving forward and constantly changing so in that case, this seems like the logical move for car companies. We already have backup cameras in most cars, so people are accustomed to looking at a screen in some ways. If the car companies issued videos and how- to guides before they release a product and really get the consumer informed on how this will work then I do believe this is the right move because they are said to give you more views of what’s around the car.  We will be able to see more of what’s around us and it hopefully will enhance people’s driving and make them more aware of their surroundings.

Works Cited:

Lavrinc, Damon. “Why It’ll be a While before we can replace car mirrors with cameras.” Wired. 7 February 2016. < http://www.wired.com/2014/04/tesla-auto-alliance-mirrors/>

Quain, John. “End of the road may be near for side mirrors.” The New York Times. 7 February 2016. < http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/05/automobiles/end-of-the-road-may-be-near-for-side-mirrors.html?ref=technology&_r=0>

1 comment:

  1. The idea that car companies such as Mercedes and BMW are looking to replace side mirrors with cameras could be extremely beneficial. Cars are constantly changing and updating with the new technology. One major issue with side mirrors are that you do have a blind spot and as a result many accidents occur because drivers are not able to see a vehicle approaching in that spot. Unfortunately, there are thousands of deaths caused by this lack of visibility.

    Although side mirrors are going to be replaced by cameras, I do not think it is a bad thing that your focus is staying inside of the vehicle. I believe it would be easier to just look at a screen in your car then have to turn your head around to look at your blind spot and into your mirror. However, I think the best thing would be to keep both your side mirrors and add the cameras to vehicles as well. That way if need be you can look in your side mirror but if you need to check your blind spot you can look at your camera screen too. Additionally, as you mentioned the camera screens would provide additional information including how fast another vehicle or object is approaching. One of your concerns was the fact you would have go to a class to learn about this new technology. Personally I think this is a really smart idea and would be extremely beneficial to any driver who participates in this course. Overall, technology is constantly evolving and I think the addition of cameras to side mirrors would prevent a vast amount of accidents and save a lot of lives.


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