As the expression goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
But technology is marching on, and automakers are always coming up with expensive, fancy features that we may, or may not really need. They also often prove expensive to fix, a fact automakers don’t seem to get.
Case in point — the US has finally decided to test camera-based side mirror systems, which are seen by some as eventually replacing the useful and traditional reflective mirror.
The NHTSA announced in August that it plans to research driving behavior and how drivers execute lane changes with both traditional mirrors and the camera systems, Road Show reported.
Per regulation, all automobiles must have reflective side mirrors, though we’ve started to see cameras take over the rear-view mirror in a handful of vehicles.are also federally mandated technology in all new vehicles, too.
Starting Thursday, the NHTSA opened the public comment period on the technology. The government will take comments for 60 days, though it did not declare when it will make a final decision on if it will give the systems a green light for the US, the report said.
In other markets, such as Europe or Japan, automakers have started to equip vehicles with camera-as-mirror technology. Lexus began selling the ES sedan in Japan last year with.
Audi, too, has installed the technology on thefor the European market. In the US and Canada, standard mirrors are regulated. Feeds from the cameras are shown inside the car and replace the reflective images shown on a traditional side mirror.
News of the research into allowing camera-based side-view mirrors follows a NHTSA announcement last year that will finally update headlight regulations in the US. Now, automakers will be free to develop what the federal agency called
Automakers commonly market the technology asin other markets. The system is capable of running high beams as the default setting, but can also dim specific portions of the light when it recognizes another vehicle or pedestrian to keep from blinding them.
While the jury is still out on side-view mirror cameras, some analysts are already saying they have in inherent problem.
On the driver’s side, the positioning of the screen looks to be much farther away from where years of driving have conditioned us to expect to see that information, requiring the driver to take their eyes off the road far longer than is ideal to check a blind spot.