Tesla Motors has filed a petition with the NHTSA asking for permission to replace side mirrors with cameras.

Tesla Motors has filed a petition with the NHTSA asking for permission to replace side mirrors with cameras.

The American electric car manufacturer has the support of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers on their quest to install cameras instead of conventional side mirrors. Since these are smaller and lighter, cameras can help improve fuel economy as well as the aerodynamic efficiency of the car. In addition, these can be placed just about anywhere on the car and they also effectively eliminate all blind spots.

Tesla says using cameras would help them "innovate and address field of view, fuel economy and aerodynamics challenges for specific segments of vehicles", but safety experts along with regulators say using cameras will put drivers at a greater risk.

Tesla has been lobbying for rearview camera implementation since 2012 when they came out with the Model X concept which will reach production phase late this year but with conventional side mirrors.

The petition comes only several days after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced a new ruling requiring all new cars sold in United States by 2018 to have a standard rearview camera.

Be part of something big