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A mirrorless future? NHTSA seeks input on camera vision systems

  • Magazine Article
  • 19AUTP11_13
Published 2019-11-01by SAE International in United States
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  • English

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in early October distributed a notice soliciting industry and public input on whether to allow “camera monitoring systems” to replace rear- and sideview exterior mirrors mandated since 1968 in U.S. auto safety standards. The agency said in a notice in the online Federal Register that it is seeking outside research and data about the potential safety impacts of replacing conventional fixed mirrors with camera-based vision systems. The action is one step in the process to inform a potential proposal to alter the mirror requirement for future production vehicles sold in the U.S.

Mirrorless vehicles have long been advocated by automotive stylists and engineers seeking sleeker looks and improved safety. They also can help improve a vehicle's fuel efficiency because the camera setups - multiple exterior cameras feeding a flat-screen array inside the cabin - have lower aerodynamic resistance than traditional stalk-mounted fixed mirrors.