Can we get rid of the rear and side view mirrors and use the built in monitors?

Can we get rid of the rear and side view mirrors and use the built in monitors?

There are several advantages to doing away with them and few con's.

1. Better visibility - Camera's would be less apt to get dirty or become fogged up
2. Ergonomic - less need for adjusting based on your perspective, all views centrally located on dash makes one glance for 3 sides of the vehicle
3. Safety - Bottom of each view could have a color associated with it that tracks movements of other vehicles where Green = all clear, Yellow = Vehicles approaching or impeding, Red = Vehicles on collision course. Wider field of vision. Camera could zoom out/in based on speed. Camera could pivot based on turning/parking/forward vs. reverse
4. Mileage - Less drag, more miles
5. Sound - Less drag, less noise
6. Exterior beauty of car - Removing these should improve the look of the car for serious EV enthusiasts


1. Failure of camera - As a backup, like a spare tire, you could have temporary left/right/rear mirrors in the boot that are easily/quickly installed with onboard tools
2. Exterior beauty of car - Removing the side mirrors might be an aesthetic detractor for some buyers

Douglas3 | 9 gennaio 2011

How do you figure they won't get dirty? The rear view camera on my SUV gets dirty all the time. In the winter I have to wipe it off almost every time I use it.

Discoducky | 9 gennaio 2011

I would design and place the camera enclosure to be less prone to dirt from wind or water turbulence that would cause it to get dirty. Look at the side of the Model S in the gallery photos and you can see a good place for the side view cameras that could also be used for parallel and garage reverse parking.

For the rear I'm sure that Tesla has designed it in that way. Haven't seen a good picture of the car yet from the boot so not sure where best to locate it.

Discoducky | 9 gennaio 2011

Ah, from the Engadget video (1:00 mark) you can see the boot pretty well and the camera could be either at the top of the Tesla logo (better location as it would be apt to get less dirty since it's higher off the ground and better shielded from rear fin or in the center of the metallic bar just above the license plate.

Link to video:

Rod Donovan | 10 gennaio 2011

Better yet, why not a heads up display? Think about it, not having to look to the right at the screen for the cameras. With a heads up display, you could just look at your window. Neat huh!? Yes, yes, I know, what about the day time with all the sunlight? Oh, yeah! Get auto-darkening front windshield that is user adjustable. Man, what? I got to think of everything here.....

Vawlkus | 10 gennaio 2011

I think it has more to do with getting the car road approved. I'm not sure, but I believe there's a notation in there that requires a means to quickly check sides & rear of a car that are UNPOWERED, as in they have to work without the car having any power in operation.

uc43 | 10 gennaio 2011

Interesting suggestion. It's hard to visualize what a vehicle will look like without side mirrors. It will probably look like some kind of moving capsule.

Anyway, I am all for innovation provided instant back ups are there when technology fails us. Imagine that you are on the road speeding and suddenly, your monitor goes blank with lots of vehciles behind you? That is when you will wish to good heavens that you can push a button and side mirrors will magically appear from nowhere. But your suggestions are worthy of exploration by car makers though.

BYT | 10 gennaio 2011

I have driven a Prius with a rear camera (because visibility is horrible when backing up in that car) and I have to say I don't trust the rear facing camera and so I don't know how much faith I would have in side mounted ones as well. I like to see things with my naked eyes or at least a reflection of such from a rear or side view mirror. Maybe a camera on the blind side but that's about it IMHO.

Discoducky | 10 gennaio 2011

While I agree that there might be a need for immediate back up in the case of failure of the powered views when driving, the driver can always see oncoming traffic by turning their head and navigate to safety.

However, if your dash screen goes out, I'm not sure the rest of the car would be functional to drive in an EV.

Dark_Elf | 12 gennaio 2011

well i brought up the idea earlier as well :)
At least the rear mirror would be nice. You can get rid of the dead ankle as well.. between the mirror and the rear window ehm... thingy *points between the rear window and the window of the passenger seat* that thing.

The side mirrors is not that much a problem, but could be nice as well... The new car from Audi has this kind of mirrors as well.

Cheers :)

PatriciaS | 15 gennaio 2011

I once had the opportunity to climb up into the cab on the rear of a hook and ladder firetruck, the place where the fireman steers the rear wheels of a long, long vehicle. There are two monitors on either side of the cab, and the cameras are somewhere near the middle of the ladder trailer. It was very disorienting, and I know that one of the cameras' lenses was clouded with dirt or something, because I could barely see the one monitor. I'd much rather have my "sensors"; i.e., mirrors either inside the cabin or near the windows, where if need be, I can reach over and wipe them or be able to adjust them from inside the cabin, than rely on a sensor that is outside, exposed to the elements, or possible damage.

jalesse | 13 settembre 2011

Why not allow them to fold electrically like a Saab 9 series?
They would fold in after you reach rolling speed just like door locks do this now. When you want them you press and hold a L/R rocker switch on the steering yoke and they fold out (fast). Let go and after some time delay they fold back in.

Vawlkus | 15 settembre 2011

I'm not sure that's legal in all the places Elon wants to seel the Model S in.
Just because it's legal where you are, doesn't mean all places do the same.

vouteb | 19 settembre 2011

Would love to know if the mirrors fold and what the car width would be with the mirrors folded....

website only shows 'with mirrors'....

Ben S. | 19 settembre 2011

That is kind of stupid. Yeah, you could see the blind spot, but it doesn't make sense. It is probably much safer with the mirrors.

BYT | 30 settembre 2011

How about having both? I like the idea of a fish eye lens there to capture car's and detect them in my blink spot. I don't want to ding my $50k baby... :D

Timo | 30 settembre 2011

Turn your head. That's the about the first thing they teach you in driving school. When parking or when changing lanes (for any reason).

No amount of helping security gear can't help a driver that can't do the same stuff themselves. For those drivers car really should be able to drive by itself (that would be reality for few years though).

David70 | 30 settembre 2011

And even turning your head doesn't always help. Drivers can be cutting across multiple lanes at once. They're in your rearview mirror as you turn your head and are into your blind spot when you look forward and look again into your rearview mirror.

derek | 29 ottobre 2015

Current Laws require rear view mirrors on automobiles...and they define them using the word "mirrors". This is the reason no carmaker is pushing the technology with cameras for now, outside of prototypes.

akikiki | 29 ottobre 2015

@Derek, What is your source for "no carmaker is pushing the technology with cameras for now, outside of prototypes", please?