Cameras vs. Mirrors
September 3, 2019
There are more cameras keeping an eye on what’s happening around what we drive these days. Now federal regulators are investigating the possibility of allowing another set of electronic eyes…. and they’re looking for public input.
The idea is to replace side rear-view mirrors with cameras. The images would be displayed on monitors inside the car. The technology is allowed in some other countries, but not in the U.S. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is collecting public comments on the technology. They also want to see how people adapt to the cameras on a track and on the road.
Last year NHTSA tested the technology and compared it to traditional mirrors. They found the side-mounted cameras exceeded the rear visibility field of view requirements like most mirrors. They also found the interior monitors were comparable to outside rearview mirrors, while the images were brighter during dawn and dusk. However, they also found rain droplets on the cameras and headlights from other traffic made it difficult to see. One question researchers wondered was how well drivers may acclimate to the new technology.
NHTSA is collecting public comments through October 28, 2019.