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Tesla wants to replace side mirrors with cameras

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The idea of replacing a vehicle’s side rear-view mirrors with cameras is nothing new – the concept existing for a while – but it has been considered to be too complicated and contrived of a solution to have any practical and feasible applications.

But that was in the past and nowadays cameras are so small that this concept is starting to look like a viable option in order to reduce drag, therefore increasing fuel economy.

Cameras have been incorporated in Volkswagen’s XL1 ultra-efficient model, helping that model to almost reach its stated figures.

Tesla is one other big name looking into adopting of this system, the original Model X concept featuring a similar layout. However, from the concept to the actual production model, the idea was dropped, and that’s why current Tesla models have conventional mirrors.

One of the main issues with implementing the concept – at least in the US – is a legal one, because it is deemed unlawful to use such a system on public roads and to ditch using mirrors altogether. According to Tesla’s chief of design, they are in talks with the authorities in order to get the necessary permissions.

The legal support for mirror-less cars could come quicker than everybody expects because one of the current topics of debate is the somewhat-related idea of mandating that all cars come with backup cameras as standard, so legalizing door-mounted cameras could be next.

Maybe not allowing this concept to go on is not the best course of action, but Tesla is one of the most forward-thinking modern automakers, and maybe they should be allowed to develop the technology to a point till where it actually is useful and safe. There is no real harm in allowing them to develop the tech, let’s not forget that lobbying is a thing.

On the other hand, car computers can be hacked and this means that the cameras could arguably be hacked sometime in the future and that might be a valid concern.

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