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BMW i8 Mirrorless brings wing mirrors up to date

Isn’t it about time we ditched old-school rear-view and wing mirrors? BMW thinks so. 

It’s perhaps the most obvious high-tech car upgrade, but one that’s been hamstrung by automotive lawmakers the world over. A handful of car manufacturers are persisting with the idea, however, not least BMW, which showed off its i8 Mirrorless concept at CES 2016.

The car resembles an ordinary i8, but swaps reflective glass for cameras; one on each of the blade-like protrusions where the wing mirrors would be, and a third at the rear of the car. The images from each of these are stitched together into a single, wide-angle moving picture shown on a display where the rear-view mirror used to live.

Hazards and obstacles, such as cars in your blind spot, are highlighted in yellow, eliminating the need to look over your shoulder before changing lane.

Why not ditch the wing-like protrusions completely in favour of flush-fitting cameras? Well those winglets also serve as turn signal indicators, and could provide the added benefit of improving the car’s aerodynamics. They also look pretty damn snazzy and mean the camera can be positioned urther away from the body of the car, thus producing a more useful picture of your surroundings.

Also on display at CES 2016 was the BMW i3 Extended Rearview Mirror, which uses a rear-facing, roof-mounted camera that overlays images onto a more traditional rear view mirror.

Currntly there’s no word as to whether these camera systems have an integrated cleaning system, as seen on some of Nissan’s parking cameras, or whether they’ll actually see the light of day in the real world. Here’s hoping.

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