Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Update on mirrorless cars

Rashomon

Member
Mar 10, 2014
260
1,241
East Troy, WI
I just had an update from a Continental engineer. Continental is a very large automotive supplier, which among many, many other things, makes autonomous driving hardware and software, camera systems, and lane-change warning systems. They have a representative on the ISO 16505 technical committee and the ECE R46 commission, two of the bodies that set rules for mirrors and camera systems. Their report is that mirrorless cars will be explicitly permitted from the third quarter of 2016 in the EU, and in Japan in 2016. They expect the same from the US around 2020, which means they either know more about the workings of DOT than anyone else I've encountered, or that this is just a WAG. I continue to believe that the US DOT regulations (when they come) will override state laws on mirrors.
The reason this is interesting is that side-view mirrors account for roughly 3 to 6 percent of overall aerodynamic drag -- definitely low-hanging fruit. On a MS90, this might mean 7 up to maybe 12 miles of greater highway range with no other change. Tesla filed a petition with the DOT three years ago or so to allow sideview mirrors to be replaced by cameras.
 

NeverFollow

Active Member
Aug 9, 2010
1,278
806
  • Helpful
Reactions: 9837264723849

Rashomon

Member
Mar 10, 2014
260
1,241
East Troy, WI
Valuable document.

Note: I would have been interesting to evaluate if the Nissan Leaf's bulging headlamps effectively help diverting wind away from the exterior mirrors?
Driving 2011 Nissan Leaf Nissan Leaf headlamp – TheDetroitBureau.com
With cameras replacing mirrors explicitly allowed in the EU and Japan, does that mean that Tesla will offer such a system on MX, MS, and M3 in 2017 and 2018, at least for these markets? I would expect so, as it would be valuable there and provide data to expedite a DOT decision. Does that mean US models may get both cameras and mirrors? Hmmmm...
 
  • Like
Reactions: lklundin
Apr 5, 2016
18
3
Utrecht
Interesting topic, would be interesting to how quickly the various car manufacturers would jump on this. Continental and other suppliers of course have a great interest to push this.....Would have expected somewhat higher impact on driving range though.
 

Cattledog

Active Member
Supporting Member
Feb 9, 2012
2,228
3,368
San Antonio, TX
With cameras replacing mirrors explicitly allowed in the EU and Japan, does that mean that Tesla will offer such a system on MX, MS, and M3 in 2017 and 2018, at least for these markets? I would expect so, as it would be valuable there and provide data to expedite a DOT decision. Does that mean US models may get both cameras and mirrors? Hmmmm...
I'd be absolutely shocked if they didn't have a system they have been testing extensively that's ready to put in place. So yes, we've seen their willingness to ship hardware and activate it later. The unfortunate part would be the plugs or cover plate for the removed mirrors.
 

Rashomon

Member
Mar 10, 2014
260
1,241
East Troy, WI
Interesting topic.....Would have expected somewhat higher impact on driving range though.

My estimate of 7 to 12 miles on a MS90 was just a quick calculation, as I don't know how much MS mirrors contribute to the MS's CdA and aerodynamic drag. The assumption was that aero is about two-thirds of the road load at 75 mph, so the aero improvement gets diluted by the unchanged rolling friction. I do expect that the Model S will get a redesign at some point before 2020 that will yield a big improvement in CdA, probably with the Cd number dropping by 20 percent over the current value. It's a longer car than the Model 3, and if Tesla can get the M3 Cd to 0.21, they should be able to get well below that on the MS using the engineering tools they now have -- particularly without sideview mirrors. Between bigger batteries and better drag and rolling friction, a 400-mile-range MS should appear in two or three years. And then there's motor/controller efficiency improvements to look forward to as well . . .
 

Rashomon

Member
Mar 10, 2014
260
1,241
East Troy, WI
Behind a paywall: Japan moves quickly into mirrorless cars

The Automotive News article has more information, with a Japanese supplier claiming US regulations will change in 2018:

The pathway to mirrorless cars was cleared late last year when the United Nations' World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations approved the use of cameras that meet certain specifications in place of mirrors.

Tetsuya Saito, section chief on engineering policy at Japan's Road Transport Bureau, said Japan changed its rules in light of video quali-ty advancements. "The U.N. regulations have standards that clear- ly determine high-per-formance specs," Saito said. "Until now, camera monitors haven't been introduced to replace mirrors because they didn't have sufficient visibility."

Japan and the European Union were among the regions expected to revise local regulations this year to allow the new tech- nology.

The United States is seen adopting the standard in 2018, and China is expected to join the club in the coming years, Ichikoh said.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Red Sage

Rashomon

Member
Mar 10, 2014
260
1,241
East Troy, WI
Note that the both the VW ID and the Mercedes EQ SUV shown at Paris were shown mirrorless. How soon before an update to the MS and MX remove the external mirrors for international markets where there is allowed? I would think at the next significant update, sometime between now and the next M3 reveal.
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,409
14,421
West Vancouver, British Columbia
Note that the both the VW ID and the Mercedes EQ SUV shown at Paris were shown mirrorless.
I don't think that means anything. Modern concept cars look better with no mirrors. Tesla showed graphics of the Model X for years without mirrors but when the car became real it had mirrors.

The Model 3 has always been shown with mirrors.

At this time I am not aware of anything from the US DOT indicating that in the near future cars will not be required to have mirrors. This has been discussed many many times on TMC in the past few years.
 

Rashomon

Member
Mar 10, 2014
260
1,241
East Troy, WI
I don't think that means anything. Modern concept cars look better with no mirrors. Tesla showed graphics of the Model X for years without mirrors but when the car became real it had mirrors.

The Model 3 has always been shown with mirrors.

At this time I am not aware of anything from the US DOT indicating that in the near future cars will not be required to have mirrors. This has been discussed many many times on TMC in the past few years.

Japan and the EU have changed their regulations to permit cameras replacing side mirrors; all German concept cars have been mirrorless for a while. VW received type approval for their mirrorless X1 limited production car in the EU. The German e-cars will certainly be mirrorless for the home markets, and will have mirrors in the US until DOT updates its rules, which is expected by suppliers in the next 2 to 3 years, though I don't know what their basis for that anticipation is. All vehicles have some production variations for different markets, subtle though they may be. It would make sense for Tesla to release mirrorless variants for the EU and Japan. If nothing else this will provide data and pressure to get the DOT to move on this matter.
 

Rashomon

Member
Mar 10, 2014
260
1,241
East Troy, WI
Japan and the EU have changed their regulations to permit cameras replacing side mirrors; all German concept cars have been mirrorless for a while. VW received type approval for their mirrorless X1 limited production car in the EU. The German e-cars will certainly be mirrorless for the home markets, and will have mirrors in the US until DOT updates its rules, which is expected by suppliers in the next 2 to 3 years, though I don't know what their basis for that anticipation is. All vehicles have some production variations for different markets, subtle though they may be. It would make sense for Tesla to release mirrorless variants for the EU and Japan. If nothing else this will provide data and pressure to get the DOT to move on this matter.

The AP 2.0 hardware adds the cameras to go mirrorless; perhaps Tesla will add a display function to the main rear view mirror to display rear side-views, or perhaps just put them on the main display. Japanese regulators seem to want the display in a conventional (i.e. near the mirrors) location. In any case, EU and Japanese exports may sometime soon start having the sideview mirrors deleted.
 

Rashomon

Member
Mar 10, 2014
260
1,241
East Troy, WI
AP 2.0 hardware adds the cameras; now all Tesla has to do is develop a way to display it. Perhaps a new rear-view-mirror/display combo? Perhaps on the main display, if the resolution/quality is sufficient? Japanese regulators seem to want displays in "intuitive" locations; i.e. near the previous mirrors. In any case, I suspect it won't be long before EU/Japan market Teslas delete the side view mirrors.
 

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top