Here’s an interesting rumor – the world’s largest luxury automaker, BMW, might be looking into switching from conventional mirrors to camera-derived views on its production models from as early as 2019.
Fresh at the start of the year the Munich-based automaker hinted at such a feat when they unveiled the i8 Mirrorless concept during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. This is not something that hasn’t been done before by other automakers. Well, as the name goes, BMW ditched the regular rear-view mirrors in favor of the digital composition brought by cameras as the carmaker considers the move will deliver an enhanced field of view for the driver. But it appears the latest report is suggesting the idea was not just for show and the technology will be delivered inside a production car in just three years from now. That’s according to BMW development chief Elmar Frickenstein who hinted the technology could become viable by 2019. And besides the inherent safety enhancements, the switch may have even the tiniest impact on fuel economy because the conventional side mirrors have quite outgrown their aerodynamic possibilities.
We have no clue which of the production vehicles from the BMW range would take advantage of the tech – though we do have a number of possibilities: an update to the 7 Series or the i8 itself. Frickenstein also said the technology would then spread to all models in the lineup in the years to come. It’s interesting to see when will that happen, as for example in the US the current regulations forbid such devices from being used on series models.