Over the years we have seen numerous mirrorless concept cars but now it looks like it won’t be long before we start seeing production cars ditching conventional wing mirrors in many markets. Japan, for one, has recently become one of the first markets to allow vehicles to make use of cameras instead of mirrors.
Japan's Ichikoh Industries will be among the first to supply mirrorless technology. Called Smart Rear View Monitor, the system comprises of an internally placed mirror with dual function – it can either be used as a conventional mirror or as a digital screen showing a live video feed of what’s happening at the rear.
Perhaps the two biggest advantages of switching to mirrorless cars are better safety and fuel economy. This camera-based system will not only offer a wider and clearer view behind (especially in the night or during harsh weather) but also help reduce the drag caused by protruding wing mirrors, thereby lifting up the fuel economy by a considerable amount.
The advent of mirrorless cars was given a go-ahead last year when the United Nations' World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations sanctioned the usage of cameras that meet certain specifications instead of wing mirrors. Following Japan, the US has proposed to adopt this tech in 2018 while the European nations and China are also expected to join the fray in the next few years.