BMW could start replacing conventional side mirrors with cameras on a production car as early as 2019.
At the beginning of the month, BMW introduced in Las Vegas during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) the i8 Mirrorless concept. As the name implies, the vehicle eschewed the regular mirrors in favor of cameras which according to BMW provide a significantly better viewing angle. It seems the concept was not just for show as the technology will be implemented in a production car about three years from now.
These are the words of BMW development chief Elmar Frickenstein who mentions it should be ready by 2019. Besides increasing safety, the cameras are expected to boost fuel economy as the body will be more aerodynamic once the conventional side mirrors will be replaced.
It’s not known at this point which model will be the first BMW to take advantage of the technology, but the facelifted 7 Series is a possibility. Whichever it will be, Frickenstein said the tech will eventually trickle down to all models in the following years.
Those of you with a keen memory will remember VW’s ultra-frugal XL1 that actually had cameras instead of mirrors. However, that wasn’t exactly a full-blown production model as only 200 cars were made. It was sold only in a handful of markets, excluding United States where the local laws don’t allow cameras instead of mirrors.