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Side view cameras back on Model X page

Side view cameras back on Model X page

Perhaps it is a mistake, the image on the Model X page has side view cameras or tiny mirrors in place of the rear view mirrors again. Did the NHTSA change the regs recently?

Lubdub | March 27, 2015

has this changed recently or did I miss it on previous versions?

Tedsla | March 27, 2015

It is the same picture since they downsized the Model X page.

vandacca | March 28, 2015

That's the original prototype on the current Model-X page, complete with the side-cameras. All newer prototypes and alpha and beta builds all have mirrors. I still have a little hope that something magical will happen with regulations and Tesla will have side-cameras again.

vperl | March 28, 2015

The Feds are in no hurry to allow cameras.

Many auto manufacturers are aligned to get cameras, but the Feds are busy raising taxes and handing out your tax dollars to who ever screams the loudest.

Wait a couple years just after Europe has them.

OHMY | March 28, 2015

couldn't tesla just add cameras AND make the side mirrors reasonably not difficult to remove?

danny | March 29, 2015

@OHMY, yes they could. Many cars already have side cameras, so there doesn't seem to be an impediment on technology or regulations on that front.

And, I can easily imagine a design for the side mirrors that would allow easy removal/cosmetic retrofit.

I have no clue why so many folks on these forums want to about the side cameras being all or nothing, rather than a planned upgrade.

georgehawley.fl.us | March 29, 2015

@danny: C'mon, you have a clue. You're just too polite to say what you are thinking...

Remnant | March 29, 2015

@ Koz (March 27, 2015)

<< .... the image on the Model X page has side view cameras or tiny mirrors in place of the rear view mirrors again. >>

It's the old pic, which does not make much sense though. The tiny pods are supposed to be cameras, although the side cameras should not be located in the place side mirrors are. That place does not secure the best side rearview. Mirrors are there only because they have to have line-of-sight to the driver, which does not apply to cameras. The camera-captured image is supposed to be wired to the dashboard instead.

Of course side cameras could be offered to the MX buyers right now, in addition to easy-to-remove side mirrors, but they should not be in that same location.

proven | March 31, 2015

@Remnant: I'm curious where you would put the side cameras? If they were on the tail corner of the car then the camera wouldn't show something next to you without some huge distortion. The general mirror location still seems like the best camera location, especially since we are used to seeing that view.

vandacca | March 31, 2015

@proven, a camera location lower and a little further forward (e.g. at the trailing edge of the wheel wells) would be a much better location. It would further reduce the blind spot and provide a much better angle. This would provide better visibility for both the curb side and vehicles.

james.nicklin | March 31, 2015

Doesn't that location get some pretty bad build up when driving in snow?

vandacca | March 31, 2015

@james.nicklin, I don't think it will be much of a problem since the camera will be pointing back, away from the tires. The VW XL1 concept car that had a camera around this location:

Maybe a good nano-coating and a little wiper could be implemented to ensure a good image. :) But a regular side-view mirror runs into similar issues, so I don't think this will pose any new problems.

carlgo | March 31, 2015

The cheating way to go, and of course that would be wrong, would be to have both the cameras and power folding mirrors that would be design to tuck in closely. If you get pulled over, unlikely, you just claim that some kid pushed them back in a parking lot. Besides, a good driver knows who is coming up behind them.

Brian H | April 1, 2015

Except for Italians. What's behind them doesn't matter.

tga | April 1, 2015

"What'sa behind me, is not important"

carlgo2 | April 4, 2015

Stavo pensando la polizia.

Remnant | April 10, 2015

@ proven (March 31, 2015)

<< I'm curious where you would put the side cameras? >>

The best location for a micro-camera seems to be under the front fender logo plate that would make it inconspicuous and provide protection from debris and weather hazards.

aija | April 10, 2015

Cameras inside the left and right edges of the rear window pointing toward the rear corners would be ideal. The placement would have to be within range of the rear wiper to be useful, but if done properly, could be very discrete and address weather, temperature and condensation issues.

vandacca | April 10, 2015

@aija, are you suggesting 2 cameras to replace the rear mirror? Its an intriguing idea! But, I think the previous posts are referring to the side-mirrors.

aija | April 13, 2015

As replacement for side mirrors and in addition to rear-view camera.

Gerhard Eide | April 15, 2015

By using several cameras and software to compound a single continuous image covering at least 180 degrees of the car – that would be a major leap from dinosaur mirrors and something that could potentially convince nay-sayers.

vperl | April 16, 2015

Brian, bad boy.

vandacca | April 16, 2015

@aija, I think 2 internal cameras on the rear window would be a great replacement for the rear mirror.

However, I don't think it would be a good replacement for the side mirrors, because it would create a huge blind-spot on either side. A vehicle beside the rear wheels wouldn't show up in that view. The further forward the side mirrors/cameras are, the less of a blind spot.

Remnant | April 16, 2015

@ vandacca (April 16, 2015)

<< The further forward the side mirrors/cameras are, the less of a blind spot. >>

Correct!

That's why I suggested the front fender (perhaps using the logo plate as a shield).

vandacca | April 16, 2015

@Remnant, I'm in total agreement with you on that location. It would seem like the obvious choice for a camera. However, in a different thread, owners were discussing de-badging their Teslas, and I wonder if making the logo a functional and permanent fixture to the vehicle, would upset those de-badgers?

jjs | April 16, 2015

Definition of a de-badger: Anyone not rooting for Wisconsin.

aija | April 16, 2015

Perhaps fisheye lenses and proper angling would solve the blind spot issue. Stitching the images together for a singular view is a great idea too! I do think internal/sealed lens is the way to go if I was tasked in designing these in.

Remnant | April 16, 2015

@ vandacca (April 16, 2015)

<< .... I wonder if making the logo a functional and permanent fixture to the vehicle, would upset those de-badgers? >>

If they de-badge, they can also substitute a smooth plate with no inscriptions or one with a more neutral inscription, say E.T., for the original.

Incidentally, hinging the plate would allow for easy access to the camera lens, in order to remove possible debris, dust, insects, etc.

sherwood | June 24, 2015

Suggestion: how about helping make this a reality?!

Go to http://www.nhtsa.gov/Contact
click on "Send Email to NHTSA"
Cut and paste the following (or comparable):

I am writing to implore that the NHTSA allow rear-facing side-view cameras as an alternative to side-view mirrors. Side-view mirrors are the largest avoidable contributor to wind noise and drag in an automobile with an otherwise low coefficient of drag. Furthermore, they allow an improved view because they can be placed optimally without having to be in a driver's line of sight, and can provide a wider angle of view than a standard flat mirror.

Replacing side-view mirrors with cameras is one of the lowest-hanging fruit, and can be implemented almost immediately. If the NHTSA is serious about improving average vehicle fuel efficiency, without compromising safety, it should legalize use of side-view cameras immediately.

Thank you for your consideration,
YOUR NAME HERE.

Red Sage ca us | June 24, 2015

sherwood: +42! A great suggestion!

Pbfoot | June 25, 2015

Great idea! Sent mine.

vperl | June 25, 2015

No change in the FEDERAL REGULATIONS is in the works.

But, there is a way a large car manufacturer is going to use cameras...

But, any one cares I doubt it.

Remnant | June 26, 2015

@ sherwood (June 24, 2015)

<< .... [NHTSA] should legalize use of side-view cameras immediately. >>

Side rearview cameras are not forbidden.

However, side rearview mirrors are still required.

eDave | September 15, 2015

Interestingly, the Porsche "Mission E" concept car that just got announced, seems to be following the Model X notion of side cameras instead of mirrors.Preference certainly seems to be for cameras built into the front fender as part of the logo plate.
Porsche concept has cameras on front fender that are wired to a heads-up display projected in the corner of the windshield:
http://i.imgur.com/LrSRiEl.png

http://i.imgur.com/TZ04I26.png

I'm holding out hope that Model X will have the side cameras, and that the mirrors can easily be removed later when the antiquated law requiring mirrors gets updated!

Remnant | September 18, 2015

@ eDave (September 15, 2015)

<< Porsche "Mission E" concept car has cameras on [the] front fenders ... wired to [an HUD] ... [I hope] Model X will have the side cameras, and that the mirrors can easily be removed later when the antiquated law requiring mirrors gets updated! >>

I concur.

Mission E appears to anticipate the needed development correctly.

georgehawley.fl.us | September 18, 2015

@Remnant: it is easy to put cameras on concept cars. Tesla did it in 2012. Not so easy to getting rid of mirrors on production cars. No one has done that.

Remnant | September 19, 2015

@ georgehawley.fl.us (September 18, 2015)

<< Not so easy to [get] rid of mirrors on production cars. >>

A power-&-control connector and a couple of flat headed screws to attach a door edge guard patch would be all that's needed for it.

The side rearview mirrors could then be reattached for driving through jurisdictions that still have the mirror requirement.

georgehawley.fl.us | September 19, 2015

@Remnant: Sorry. I was referring to the fact that without mirtors the cars would be in violation of most state laws, not the mechanics.

aesculus | September 19, 2015

I also wonder if you can legally remove the mirrors after the fact even if the law changes down the road to allow NEW cars not to have them. In many states your car is grandfathered in with the features it had at manufacture and that goes both ways. You are not forced to add new features (for example high center brake light) but you might not be allowed to remove the mirrors either.

I am just wondering, not stating any fact. But it would be worth finding out what your states situation is before you decide upon this future course of action or its possibility.

Red Sage ca us | September 20, 2015

Really depends upon whether your car has to go through an annual safety inspection for licensing in your State. I doubt the highway patrol would pull someone over for missing mirrors, except perhaps during towing. I think there are temporary magnetic mirrors for that, though.

Or, if the vehicle is to be used for a driving test, does the DMV examiner have to confirm it has at least one exterior mirror. Some of them would be fine knowing there was a way to see to the rear, even if it were with cameras... Others would stick to the letter of the law, wanting a fixed mirror attached and readily view-able before allowing the driving test to continue. That of course can be fixed by renting another car for the day of the driving test...

rossRallen | September 20, 2015

Simply musing on the ergonomics:
I wonder if full-time display of left and right rear-facing cameras on the dash would lead to too much clutter and not enough space for detail to be displayed. Never mind that the dash requires close-up (2-3') vision and mirrors use distance vision without refocusing. People wearing reading glasses or bifocals think about these things now that the paint choices for the Sig X, which occupied almost my every waking hour for two years, have been revealed.

SSETNOR | September 25, 2015

A BETTER DRIVE EXPERIENCE IS AVAILABLE FOR THE CUSTOMER. / IT IS CALLED BETTER VISIBILITY THAT'S IMPORTANT TO THE DRIVER WHEN CHANGING LANES & DURING PARALLEL PARKING. / YESTERDAY'S SOLUTIONS: MONITORS - SENSORS - RADAR - FISH EYE : ARE WARNING SYSTEMS NOT VISIBILITY SYSTEMS / FISH EYE & CONVEX MIRRORS: GIVE YOU A DISTORTED VIEW AND YOU CAN'T JUDGE DISTANCE. MULTIPLE MIRRORS: MISLEAD YOUWITH DISTRACTED VIEWS. / CAMERAS: IF THE LENS IS DIRTY - WET - SNOWY - FOGGY - OR SUNNY ARE NOT RELIABLE WHEN NEEDED. / IMPROPERLY ADJUSTED OUTSIDE REAR-VIEW MIRRORS THAT SHOW THE SIDE OF YOUR VEHICLE:YOU CAN'T SAFELY MAKE A LANE CHANGE IN HEAVY TRAFFIC CONDITIONS. THE "SEE MORE SWITCH" WILL SIMPLIFY THESE ACTIONS BY GIVING THE DRIVER COMPLETE CONTROL WITH MORE EFFECTIVE OUTSIDE REAR VIEW MIRRORS FOR A PERFECT VIEW TO SAFELY MAKE A LANE CHANGE IN DENSE TRAFFIC CONDITIONS. USING A SINGLE FLAT MIRROR ON BOTH SIDES OF THE VEHICLE. IT'S AUTOMATIC IN REVERSE & DRIVE. PATENT 9010946. ISSUED 4-21-2015

ernie | September 26, 2015

@SSETNOR...No need to yell.

jotell | October 15, 2015

what happened to the side view cameras?

georgehawley.fl.us | October 15, 2015

@ernie: maybe he isn't yelling. Maybe he has an Apple I with upper case only? :-))

Remnant | October 15, 2015

@ rossRallen (September 20, 2015)

<< Simply musing on the ergonomics: I wonder if full-time display of left and right rear-facing cameras on the dash would lead to too much clutter and not enough space for detail to be displayed. >>

Not any worse than the traditional rearview mirrors, IMO: most of the time, a glance will suffice, unless you back up and move slowly, which gives you time to refocus and watch for details.

Remnant | October 16, 2015

@ Red Sage ca us (September 20, 2015)

<< I doubt the highway patrol would pull someone over for missing mirrors, except perhaps during towing. >>

(1) The side rearview cameras should have been included as planned for the prototype, but in a different location, because they do not require line-of-sight to the driver.

(2) Removable and foldable rearview mirrors should also be included, because they are still federally required, although some States (such as OR & PA) only require rearview "mirrors or devices", while other States (such as MO, MP, MI, MS) require rearview mirrors only if the vehicle is constructed or used in such a manner as to prevent the driver from having a clear and unobstructed view of the highway behind the vehicle.

(3) The highway patrol is unlikely to pull over an out-of-State vehicle for missing mirrors, because the requirement is related to technology and rearview visibility . They might apply the State law to the in-State vehicles, according to whatever their routine procedure is in such cases.