NHTSA & DOT Want Your Thoughts On Using Cameras Instead Of Traditional Mirrors

Jhodgesatmb

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Here's the site for those who missed it. Keep in mind, they are NOT asking if they should allow mirrors. I wrote in to ask about the non-functional link. The link hadn't been activated at that time but now works. Anyway, the nice lady told me they just wanted people's opinions on whether or not a study should be conducted.

They get a lot of "cameras good" type of comments which are not helpful. They need you to say something along the lines of "I support a study on the efficacy of using cameras in lieu of mirrors for rearward vision while driving."

Here's the link:
https://www.regulations.gov/document/NHTSA-2019-0082-1917

:)
Actually, they want you to read their test proposal and to comment on details of it. Age and skill levels of test drivers, duration of tests, what types of tests and conditions to test in, boundary and other test cases to try, what metrics to use in evaluating the tests, etc. In short, they really want the opinions of automobile test engineers.

 

DMC-81

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I'm used to traditional mirrors, but I did recently replace the rearview mirror in the DeLorean with a backup camera/dashcam incorporated into a wider rearview screen. I was impressed. It improved the blind spots significantly. The only way I realize that its not a normal mirror is that LED headlights blink a bit due to the frame rate, etc.

Also, I'm forever banging into the external mirrors when I walk between the cars in the garage and driveway (unless they can be folded in).

I hope NHTSA gets the job done on approving this new approach with the CT.
 

HaulingAss

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We know that auto exhaust kills thousands of Americans every year before their time. We also know that side mirrors increase fuel consumption a few percent and therefore the amount of road pollution by a few percent. You don't have to be a medical researcher to realize there is probably a linear relationship between how many people die from auto exhaust and how concentrated that exhaust is. Mirrors are probably killing hundreds of people every year simply from higher emissions, before we account for those struck by mirrors.

For that reason alone, this safety study is questionable because people are dying right now from mirror use. The NHSTA and the DOT should do everything in their power to remove barriers to manufacturers adopting the safer, more efficient alternative.
 
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Crissa

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Did anyone see a link to their test procedures?

Usually they publish the white paper before soliciting opinions on it. I didn't see the link to the actual paper, which is weird.

Asking for approval of it at the level of detail here seems... Bad. Two hundred people test-driving what with what questions? Even I don't think that's sufficient. They don't need permission to do such a tiny study.

-Crissa
 

firsttruck

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We know that auto exhaust kills thousands of Americans every year before their time. We also know that side mirrors increase fuel consumption a few percent and therefore the amount of road pollution by a few percent. You don't have to be a medical researcher to realize their is probably a linear relationship between how many people die from auto exhaust and how concentrated that exhaust is. Mirrors are probably killing hundreds of people every year simply from higher emissions, before we account for those struck by mirrors.

For that reason alone, this safety study is questionable because people are dying right now from mirror use. The NHSTA and the DOT should do everything in their power to remove barriers to manufacturers adopting the safer, more efficient alternative.
U.S. has had years to study this. Why are any more testing or studies needed at all ???? !!!!

Japan, EU, UK, and Australia studied this subject and legalized it years ago.
Unless the U.S. authorities find some major fault with the methods of Japanese & EU studies their studies should be used.

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Japan approves mirrorless cars More governments expected to follow suit for safer, more efficient, and better looking vehicles.
By John Beltz Snyder
Aug 6th 2016
https://www.autoblog.com/2016/08/06/japan-approves-mirrorless-cars/


Facelifted Lexus ES saloon unveiled at Shanghai Motor Show
On the technology front, there’s a new pair of digital side-view mirrors and a fresh 12.3-inch infotainment system. The former is available as an option on the flagship Takumi model, while the latter comes as standard on every ES fitted with sat-nav.
by: Auto Express team
8 Oct 2021
https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/lexus...oon-gets-chassis-tech-and-styling-tweaks-2022

Europe: Lexus ES Drops Traditional Side Mirrors In Favor Of Cameras
Traditional side mirrors will be replaced by cameras and screens eventually, and Lexus has already made this step a couple of years ago, when they introduced the Digital Side-view Monitor for the ES in Japan. Now, this technology has made its way to Europe and is available for the ES 300h.
BY Cristian Gnaticov
Posted on February 12, 2020
https://www.carscoops.com/2020/02/e...traditional-side-mirrors-in-favor-of-cameras/


The Audi E-Tron’s unusual side mirrors could soon appear on more cars The Audi E-Tron not only marks the brand's first pure-electric SUV, it's also the first passenger car in Australia to offer cameras instead of side mirrors.
By Susannah Guthrie
06 October 2020
https://www.drive.com.au/news/the-audi-e-tron-s-unusual-side-mirrors-could-soon-appear-on-more-cars/


Virtual Mirrors Are a Thing in the UK; Why Not the US?
News of BMW’s new virtual mirrors patent has some people wondering whether virtual mirrors are legal in the U.S. Although they’re features on the U.K. versions of the Audi e-tron as well as the Honda e.
by Maeve Rich
Published on June 7, 2021
https://www.motorbiscuit.com/virtual-mirrors-thing-uk-why-not-us/


Mercedes-Benz switching to cameras instead of side-mirrors on heavy-duty trucks
Since June 2019, Mercedes-Benz Trucks has been supplying the new heavy-duty Actros truck with MirrorCam—side-mounted digital rear-view mirrors—as a standard feature. The digital rear-view mirror not only looks futuristic but can also do much more than conventional main and wide-angle mirrors. Its performance far exceeds the legal requirements.
14 December 2019
https://www.greencarcongress.com/2019/12/20191214-mirrorcam.html
 
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firsttruck

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Only reason I can see for U.S. taking over 6 years more time than Japan is because U.S. government is in pocket of BIG Mirror (besides, Big Oil, Big ICE, Big Fossil).
 

HaulingAss

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Only reason I can see for U.S. taking over 6 years more time than Japan is because U.S. government is in pocket of BIG Mirror (besides, Big Oil, Big ICE, Big Fossil).
When I was a kid, Union 76 gas stations used to give out a little orange Styrofoam ball that motorists could mount on the end of their car antenna to declare what kind of fuel you had filled up with. On the highway, this would cause the antenna to bend backwards much further than normal and bob in the wind. While the effect on MPG for any individual would be so minimal as to be inconsequential, the combined effect of millions of these driving billions of miles every year would amount to increased fuel sales. Small as a percentage of total sales but there is no way to deny they increased gasoline sales, it's an unavoidable fact of physics.

While I don't know if that was an anticipated benefit (it was more likely just a marketing effort), I am confident that the oil industry works with automakers in the US in a way that encourages them to have options that add drag to vehicles. Remember the windshield "sunshades" that truck drivers used to purchase for the top edge of their windshield? You could hardly dream of a better way to increase fuel consumption without impacting the official EPA MPG ratings. Because automakers are allowed to list the un-optioned MPG, not the actual fleet average.

And you can bet oil companies are working behind the scenes to delay the inevitable elimination of side mirrors! Because it amounts to billions of dollars of revenue for them. Consumers in the US spend over $500 billion on gasoline annually.

Side mirrors increase aerodynamic drag by 2-7% over no mirrors:
Why It'll Be a While Before We Can Replace Car Mirrors With Cameras | WIRED

Because overcoming aerodynamic drag on the freeway dwarfs the energy consumed by rolling resistance, side mirrors probably cause consumers to buy an additional approximately 1% more fuel which would translate to a whopping additional $5 billion on fuel every year the transition to mirrorless vehicles is delayed. This is the kind of delay that makes oil companies smile.
 

SpaceYooper

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Seems like a waste of time. Pass a measure effective immediately allowing cameras that create a safety effect equal to or greater then whatever the requirement is for mirrors. Then watch the aftermarket companies create a plethora of products for mirror delete kits.
 

TyPope

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Actually, they want you to read their test proposal and to comment on details of it. Age and skill levels of test drivers, duration of tests, what types of tests and conditions to test in, boundary and other test cases to try, what metrics to use in evaluating the tests, etc. In short, they really want the opinions of automobile test engineers.
That's not what Elizabeth Mazzae, the Senior Human Factors Engineer told me...


"Note that this FR notice is specifically about whether PRA clearance should be approved for this research or not. The notice you are writing in response to today is not a rulemaking notice. Comments about whether or not cameras should be permitted alternative means to meet FMVSS No. 111 requirements are not within the scope of this Federal Register notice, but would be appropriate in response to a rulemaking notice. An “Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” was published previously. A “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” or NPRM that would come in the future would be the one where you would provide your input as to whether the specific proposal in that notice is something you support.

 

 
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