The future of car camera monitors became apparent a week ago when Audi released a video of its new electric SUV E-tron, that embeds mirror monitors as we’ve never seen them.
Monitors are wedged into the doors just below the window. Drivers can swirl their finger over the monitor screen to make adjustments to the cameras on either side of the car (the cameras replace the physical side mirrors).
The camera views can zoom in or out and there’s pre-settings for highway, turning and parking, said Wired.
The E-tron becomes the first major car to offer the option of cameras instead of mirrors. But, while the vehicle is slated for the US, it won’t likely offer that feature here as motor vehicle regulations require a physical side mirror on the driver side to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 111.
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and Tesla Motors filed back in 2014 a petition to update the regulations to allow the use of camera rear or side vision systems. But a spokesman for the group said it is still waiting for action on the a part of NHTSA.
Still, it’s really worth the 2 minutes to watch the short Audi video below (via Auditography) to view what the future may look like.
Brandmotion’s Jeff Varick said a change in the law to allow side cameras could create a lot of fleet sales for the aftermarket, as the cameras reduce drag compared to mirrors. The switch could save fleets two percent in gas. “That tips the needle. Two percent savings for fleets is going to add up,” he said. Then there’s also the “cool factor” of the products that could lead to aftermarket consumer sales.