Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

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painless
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Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by painless »

reading thread re. cameras got me thinking. Tesla, I saw on TV the other day, have replaced mirrors on road cars with cameras citing an aero advantage (as well as appearing high-tech).
Do the rules allow this approach in F1 and where would you put the screen to view?

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Covalent
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Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by Covalent »

I'd say yes.

14.3 Rear view mirrors :
14.3.1 All cars must have two mirrors mounted so that the driver has visibility to the rear and both
sides of the car.
14.3.2 The reflective surface of each mirror must be at least 150mm wide, this being maintained over
a height of at least 50mm. Additionally, each corner may have a radius no greater than 10mm.
14.3.3 All parts of the rear view mirrors, including their housings and mountings, must be situated
between 250mm and 500mm from the car centre line and between 550mm and 750mm from
the rear edge of the cockpit entry template.
14.3.4 The FIA technical delegate must be satisfied by a practical demonstration that the driver, when
seated normally, can clearly define following vehicles.
For this purpose, the driver shall be required to identify any letter or number, 150mm high and
100mm wide, placed anywhere on boards behind the car, the positions of which are detailed
below :
Height : From 400mm to 1000mm from the ground.
Width : 4000mm either side of the car centre line.
Position : 10m behind the rear wheel centre line.

http://argent.fia.com/web/fia-public.ns ... _20.07.pdf

Depends on how you define "mirror" I guess, but to me it looks like the first two paragraphs would prevent you from replacing the mirros with cameras/displays.
BTW, I found the last paragraph interesting!

painless
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Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by painless »

Covalent wrote:BTW, I found the last paragraph interesting!


yes. I presume this is a static test. I also presume a camera would/could give superior performance.

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hittheapex
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Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by hittheapex »

Assuming the rules on mirrors were rewritten, I suppose it could happen but I think the old fashioned mirror would be more reliable, and we rarely see them falling off.
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Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by egnat69 »

hittheapex wrote:Assuming the rules on mirrors were rewritten, I suppose it could happen but I think the old fashioned mirror would be more reliable, and we rarely see them falling off.

yep... a complete and unexpected car-shutdown would also shutdown the cameras ... not so good...

there would be the need for a backup-system of some sort (i.e. a battery or so) ... after all, i suspect a camera-display-combination to be heavier as the mirrors used (surely they won't use 5mm thick glass mirrors, would they?) and with a backup-battery that would add even more... furthermore you would need some more wiring just to mimic something that is working well... not always high-tech is better ;D
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mds
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Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by mds »

egnat69 wrote:after all, i suspect a camera-display-combination to be heavier as the mirrors used (surely they won't use 5mm thick glass mirrors, would they?) and with a backup-battery that would add even more... furthermore you would need some more wiring just to mimic something that is working well... not always high-tech is better ;D


Heavier, yes. Although camera's are very light and the displays would be too, and the backup power system wouldn't be all that heavy either, it would be heavier. Now, even if this solution would be heavier it wouldn't necessarily translate to higher car weight. In case of the overweight Sauber, evidently yes, but other teams might have some headroom and would just drop some ballast.

Mirrors have negative characteristics as well. I don't think they're aero-positive. So they screw the aero up a bit and add drag.

So... higher weight/less ideal weight distribution vs higher drag.
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Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by orion_f1 »

On my motorbike above certain speeds the mirror starts to vibrate very very little, almost imperceptibly but the image goes all fuzzy and weird. I wonder if vibration on F1 mirrors has the same effect - which would render a static test less useful.
Cameras are good because you can house them in more aereodynamic structure (less prone to vibration), but you would still have to put the display somewhere on the sides of the cockpit, so maybe they are still exposed to wind and vibration. I guess as long as they can pass the same visibility test, I don't see why not give teams the option. If it's a closed-loop system, reliability can be pretty bulletproof... but I suspect that Bernie would then want access to the feeds for TV purposes or teams would try to add in some electronics to do image-processing (eg to get a wider angle) and that would be more prone to failure

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Covalent
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Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by Covalent »

orion_f1 wrote:On my motorbike above certain speeds the mirror starts to vibrate very very little, almost imperceptibly but the image goes all fuzzy and weird. I wonder if vibration on F1 mirrors has the same effect - which would render a static test less useful.
Cameras are good because you can house them in more aereodynamic structure (less prone to vibration), but you would still have to put the display somewhere on the sides of the cockpit, so maybe they are still exposed to wind and vibration. I guess as long as they can pass the same visibility test, I don't see why not give teams the option. If it's a closed-loop system, reliability can be pretty bulletproof... but I suspect that Bernie would then want access to the feeds for TV purposes or teams would try to add in some electronics to do image-processing (eg to get a wider angle) and that would be more prone to failure

Maybe they could put the display in the cockpit or steering wheel.

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slide
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Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by slide »

surely using mirrors gives you a sense of spatial awhereness that you wouldn't get with a camera - sounds dodgy to me

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Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by Ennis »

slide wrote:surely using mirrors gives you a sense of spatial awhereness that you wouldn't get with a camera - sounds dodgy to me


It would be the exact same from a spatial awareness perspective.

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Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by Ennis »

slide wrote:surely using mirrors gives you a sense of spatial awhereness that you wouldn't get with a camera - sounds dodgy to me


It would be the exact same from a spatial awareness perspective.

lamo

Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by lamo »

It would not have to add weight, just use the rear facing T-camera, that gives all the view they would need. Could have some smart software possibly linked in with FIA GPS systems that sense when other cars are in proximity and beeps and/or switches display to HD rear camera view.

Image

lamo

Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by lamo »

Surprised this never gained momentum, works well for fighter pilots.

Image

orion_f1
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Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by orion_f1 »

lamo wrote:Surprised this never gained momentum, works well for fighter pilots.

Image


If by 'this' you mean a head-up display, in fighters it's possibly because of the enclosed canopy. Any display screen in front of the driver would be torn off by wind / destroy aereodynamics. Of course they could fit a micro-HUD inside the driver's helmet, but that would require a lot of miniaturisation work, possibly annoying to wear / look at, and possibly requiring re-focusing, not true HUD at infinite focus (for example Google glass).
There could also be safety issues with having anything inside the helmet.

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Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by egnat69 »

lamo wrote:Could have some smart software possibly linked in with FIA GPS systems that sense when other cars are in proximity and beeps and/or switches display to HD rear camera view.]

so we have a shift-beep, a proximity beep plus the usual radio-talk ... those starts will be fun!
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Alienturnedhuman
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Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by Alienturnedhuman »

Cameras have a lag of at least 1/60th of a second. In Formula 1 a lot has changed in 1/60th of a second.

lamo

Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by lamo »

Schuberth already created that display back in 2004 I believe.

If fine tuned I am not sure why it never took off, especially with micro HD screen technology now 10 years further down the road.

Image

There is a guy on youtube who did a DIY job of rear facing camera and display on his motocycle helmet.

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linkinstreet
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Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by linkinstreet »

Depends on the driver. During rain most will lift up the visor a bit to avoid fogging so hud is worthless.

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Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by wolfticket »

Alienturnedhuman wrote:Cameras have a lag of at least 1/60th of a second. In Formula 1 a lot has changed in 1/60th of a second.

Citation? :)
It's still a very short period of time in human reaction terms, if not mechanical terms. I would imagine it is more than offset by the shorter distance the eye/head has to be moved in order to view and focus on the image.

My take is that rear view cameras and huds will be in F1 at some point in the future, so they might as well get on with it.

I can't see any particularly valid disadvantages if it's done right. Superior driver visibility and awareness could actually improve wheel to racing and safety. If people are worried about failures and stuff keep the mirrors as well until such systems are proven.

Plus it would be cool :smug:
===\ō͡≡\ō͡≡o˞̶ ===\ō͡≡\ō͡≡o˞̶ ===\ō͡≡\ō͡≡o˞̶ ===\ō͡≡\ō͡≡o˞̶ ===\ō͡≡\ō͡≡o˞̶===

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Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by lamo »

linkinstreet wrote:Depends on the driver. During rain most will lift up the visor a bit to avoid fogging so hud is worthless.


Battery powered anti fog visors have been used for quite a few seasons now. Even before that standard anti fog was around. The helmets also have a pre set level for clearing mist and it is about 1mm clearance, the first click on the visor as you open it. Water does not enter with this setting, only air.

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Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by Irbis »

Ennis wrote:
slide wrote:surely using mirrors gives you a sense of spatial awhereness that you wouldn't get with a camera - sounds dodgy to me

It would be the exact same from a spatial awareness perspective.

It would be far better in fact, mirrors have colossal dead zones. I have a car with rear facing camera and you wouldn't believe how much easier parking or checking cars behind is.

Alienturnedhuman wrote:Cameras have a lag of at least 1/60th of a second. In Formula 1 a lot has changed in 1/60th of a second.

Citation, please. Not only no modern equipment has performance this bad, screen could be in the field of view whole time, making cameras infinitely better as it takes far more than 1/60th of a second to glance at a side mirror.

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Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by Blinky McSquinty »

First off, until something which can truly replace mirrors, they should not be replaced by technology, but instead, supplemented.

Why does it have to be a camera? Proximity sensors, be it radar or infra-red can be positioned at the car's blind sides and emit an audio warning in the form of a buzz. A car is sitting on the right blind spot, a buzzing in the right ear warns the driver.

Corvette racing in the US endurance series has a sophisticated camera system. The Pratt and Miller Radar camera uses a radar, camera, and processor to display information to a driver when any car is closing up or overtaking, in any weather condition.

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Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by orion_f1 »

Blinky McSquinty wrote:First off, until something which can truly replace mirrors, they should not be replaced by technology, but instead, supplemented.


Definitely true, but doing some side-by side is a start

Blinky McSquinty wrote:Why does it have to be a camera? Proximity sensors, be it radar or infra-red can be positioned at the car's blind sides and emit an audio warning in the form of a buzz. A car is sitting on the right blind spot, a buzzing in the right ear warns the driver.


Doesn't have to be a camera, proximity sensors are a good idea, why not both? I think drivers would be more comfortable with a camera. Sometimes a driver might want to know not only if a car is close, but who the other car is, exactly how close and how fast it's closing. That sort of info can't be gotten just through a proximity sensor. On the other hand a sensor would eliminate blind spots.

The Schubert in-helmet screen posted a few posts above seems doable, nowadays screens of extremely good resolution, refresh rate, viewing angle, colour reproduction etc are fairly cheap and ubiquitous on every smartphone plus solid and durable 'gorilla glass' type. (still have the caveat - what happens in incidents liek Massa or De Villota? is having a screen under your chin an added injury risk?)

And of course biggest issue woule be if as ATH mentioned, there is a significant lag. On a closed-circuit system I don't think this would be the case but for an in-camera helmet the signal needs to be transmitted (ie coded / decoded), there needs to be security to avoid interference etc (think of delay in digital vs analog TV). Maybe better have a wired plug that fits in the helmet (too complicated) or a cockpit display (but this still requires driver's attention / focus to shift)

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Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by Saabjock »

Mirrors are a 'must' on any race car....heck! they're a must on any road car.
Ever have something go wrong and lose one?
It's like driving with one leg amputated.
I continuously scan mirrors for everything...especially motorcyclist splitting lanes.
The time it takes to focus on the objects in even a helmet-mounted camera would represent a danger.
With mirrors you just glance for anything moving.

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Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by Alienturnedhuman »

Irbis wrote:Citation, please.

I don't care enough about proving this issue to spend the time finding the resources on the Internet to prove it to you. I find it hilarious, given the amount of garbage that gets spouted on this forum that I someone should think the one thing someone is making up with some form of agenda is the limitations of digital video capture.

The reason that there is a delay, rather than showing you the instantaneous representation like a mirror, is that the sensor in the camera has to be exposed to the light for a period of time. Only once it has been exposed to the light can it know the value to tell the display. Therefore, even if everything else was instantaneous (which it isn't) - from the rolling shutter, to encoding the video signal, to signal transmission, to signal decoding to signal processing to lcd pixel change time - this exposure duration will always be latency in the system. It doesn't matter how advanced the technology is , it's a physical restraint of the laws of the universe.

Most cameras operate at 30fps, the type being used for car cameras would probably be 60fps (120fps at a stretch because at that short exposure time in low light you will get very poor image quality, particularly on a moving vehicle)

If you care to dispute this, then feel free. But really couldn't care less or not if you want to believe me.

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Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by Covalent »

Saabjock wrote:Mirrors are a 'must' on any race car....heck! they're a must on any road car.
Ever have something go wrong and lose one?
It's like driving with one leg amputated.
I continuously scan mirrors for everything...especially motorcyclist splitting lanes.
The time it takes to focus on the objects in even a helmet-mounted camera would represent a danger.
With mirrors you just glance for anything moving.

The thread is about replacing the mirrors with alternative means of being aware of your surroundings, such as cameras and displays.

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Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by RickM »

With regards to using the existing T-mount rear camera, that's not currently an option.

The cameras are pretty selectively placed. All cars carry a T-cam facing forward. And all cars now carry the front-wing/nose cam. But:

- Only a few cards have a reversing nose cam
- Only a few cars have a rear-facing T-Cam.

No idea why, but that's the way it is. It's been like it for ages with the rear-facing cams. Occasionally they will have some other random position as well if the team say it's ok.
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Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by James14 »

The mirrors do the job fine and replacing them with cameras seems like using technology just for the sake of using it. Wasteful and pointless.
Now if you wanted to use a rear view camera (or sensors etc.) to overcome the blind spot then I'd say fair enough, but I'd worry that it would aid the driver in preventing an overtake which would be a bad thing!

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Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by RickM »

Another possible idea (not that it, or cameras are better than mirrors IMO) would be parking-sensor type things that beep in the ear of the driver...so if there's someone getting close on the left, the left ear beeps for example.

Again, probably not worth it - as James14 said, technology for the sake of technology isn't really worth it.
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Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by mds »

James14 wrote:The mirrors do the job fine and replacing them with cameras seems like using technology just for the sake of using it. Wasteful and pointless.


No. First, they add drag, so on an ideal race car they would not be there - just there for safety. Replacing them with far, far smaller camera's would be of benefit.
Secondly, concept cars are already adding them. You can bet on it that in the future we'll have camera's in consumer cars. So F1 might as well lead the way.
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Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by lamo »

Standard mirrors are also useless in the rain, but some kind of heat sensitive/radar/infra red camera could be of benefit in these conditions.

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Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by hittheapex »

I was just thinking that if F1 ever moves to closed cockpit, perhaps the HUD could be introduced, without the issues of a helmet based system.
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Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by Covalent »

mds wrote:
James14 wrote:The mirrors do the job fine and replacing them with cameras seems like using technology just for the sake of using it. Wasteful and pointless.


No. First, they add drag, so on an ideal race car they would not be there - just there for safety. Replacing them with far, far smaller camera's would be of benefit.
Secondly, concept cars are already adding them. You can bet on it that in the future we'll have camera's in consumer cars. So F1 might as well lead the way.

Also, even now with the mirrors drivers are complaining that they can't see anything through them at high speeds because of the vibration, a camera (and some clever image stablizer) might reduce this problem significantly.

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Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by Blackhander »

All HMD and HUD are focused to infinity so the pilot (or driver if it was introduced) never have to refocus their eyes to view information. After a while pilots don't even notice the information in the display unless they want to, the brain simply tunes it out. HUDs have been used in aircraft for around 50 years now so getting hold of the technology isn't hard. It's no longer military technology either, commercial aircraft and even civil use it nowadays as well, and have for quite a while, although these are likely to be a couple of generations behind. Weight could be an issue. Well would be actually seeing as the new wheel display only weighs 50g more from memory and several teams opted not to use it based on that fact and even the simplest HUD or HMD would way far more.

Back to the original question of mirrors being replaced by cameras. It could be easily done and I suspect will some day as the advantages are clearly there. But the regulations for mirrors as the stand are simple, hard to manipulate by the teams and realistically will never need to be changed. They serve a purpose and do it well, and are easily tested if in doubt. Changing that rule would add cost and start a new rear view camera arms race to gain the most advantage for really no reason at all
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Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by Covalent »

Blackhander wrote:All HMD and HUD are focused to infinity so the pilot (or driver if it was introduced) never have to refocus their eyes to view information. After a while pilots don't even notice the information in the display unless they want to, the brain simply tunes it out. HUDs have been used in aircraft for around 50 years now so getting hold of the technology isn't hard. It's no longer military technology either, commercial aircraft and even civil use it nowadays as well, and have for quite a while, although these are likely to be a couple of generations behind. Weight could be an issue. Well would be actually seeing as the new wheel display only weighs 50g more from memory and several teams opted not to use it based on that fact and even the simplest HUD or HMD would way far more.

Back to the original question of mirrors being replaced by cameras. It could be easily done and I suspect will some day as the advantages are clearly there. But the regulations for mirrors as the stand are simple, hard to manipulate by the teams and realistically will never need to be changed. They serve a purpose and do it well, and are easily tested if in doubt. Changing that rule would add cost and start a new rear view camera arms race to gain the most advantage for really no reason at all

A bit contradictory. They'll start an arms race if there is reason to do so, otherwise why bother?

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Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by Blackhander »

Yeah I didn't really word that well. I meant that the teams will all embark on an arms race to get the most advantage from the new mirror rules, because there will be a potential for advantage to them, spending millions in the process. But there is no advantage to changing that rule from the FIA perspective. The current regulations work and work well, so why change to a more likely inferior design for the job that it is there to do- allow the drivers to see behind.
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Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by Covalent »

Blackhander wrote:Yeah I didn't really word that well. I meant that the teams will all embark on an arms race to get the most advantage from the new mirror rules, because there will be a potential for advantage to them, spending millions in the process. But there is no advantage to changing that rule from the FIA perspective. The current regulations work and work well, so why change to a more likely inferior design for the job that it is there to do- allow the drivers to see behind.

No point if the design is inferior, but there are plenty of examples in this thread on why it might be superior.

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Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by Covalent »

double post

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Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by Blackhander »

I think it could be superior. Aero wise definately. But where would the displays for the cameras be mounted? Inside the cockpit there's not much room and knowing the teams they'll try to tuck them away somewhere they're completely useless unless specified otherwise.
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Re: Mirrors - are they a "must have"?

Post by dizlexik »

egnat69 wrote:
hittheapex wrote:Assuming the rules on mirrors were rewritten, I suppose it could happen but I think the old fashioned mirror would be more reliable, and we rarely see them falling off.

yep... a complete and unexpected car-shutdown would also shutdown the cameras ... not so good...

there would be the need for a backup-system of some sort (i.e. a battery or so) ... after all, i suspect a camera-display-combination to be heavier as the mirrors used (surely they won't use 5mm thick glass mirrors, would they?) and with a backup-battery that would add even more... furthermore you would need some more wiring just to mimic something that is working well... not always high-tech is better ;D

There is no need for backup battery. Nissan has technology that allows to switch between LCD and traditional rear mirror. So when LCD display fails it work like a normal mirror.

http://youtu.be/2yxHAj79kh8?t=1m37s
eeee

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