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There have been some noises by a number of manufacturers about lobbying governments to relax rules that require cars to have wing mirrors. The intention would be to replace them with wide view cameras and small screens inside to improve aerodynamic efficiency.

Is this a good idea?

Are the gains in efficiency significant?

Will current UK rules on wing mirrors require changing like they would for most US states? I think that the VW XL1 doesn't have wing mirrors and that is street legal in the UK isn't it (but not in the US)?
 

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where are they going to put all these screens ? :D But it'd be great imho. Even in town where there's no aerodynamic advantage, it'd be better not to have anything sticking out or the side of the car.
 

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The same idea had occurred to me, but I can just see it coming about as another excuse for supermarkets and car park operators to trim another 3" off parking bays... :p
I hope not..I already have a ding in a rear door despite trying to park carefully as is!
 

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There have been some noises by a number of manufacturers about lobbying governments to relax rules that require cars to have wing mirrors. The intention would be to replace them with wide view cameras and small screens inside to improve aerodynamic efficiency.

Is this a good idea?

Are the gains in efficiency significant?

Will current UK rules on wing mirrors require changing like they would for most US states? I think that the VW XL1 doesn't have wing mirrors and that is street legal in the UK isn't it (but not in the US)?
The Tesla Model X is planned to come without wing mirrors. The "unveil" car did have them though. They are lobbying government for a rule change.. Who know's if it will come in time for the launch.

VW have already got an exemption from the EU to allow them, hence the XL1 being legal here, AFAIK it isn't a blanket rule change (yet).

Personally I see it as a good thing. I have been clipped by wing mirrors before whilst on a bike, fortunately at slow speed. Of course it might mean people drive even closer to cyclists, so now you get clipped by a complete car :(

From a usability POV, I'd think they have benefits too. Unlike mirrors which have a fixed focal length, cameras could vary, depending on conditions (parking mode, city traffic mode, motorway mode, if you have an indicator on), as well as including additional warnings, e.g. blind spot detection.

You'd also not need to adjust them for each driver.

One thing that that would be possible is to stitch the images from the rear view and two side cameras together to give you a panoramic view in your rear view mirror.

Instinctively you would think they made a big difference to drag. Not only because they present more frontal area into the wind, but because they must interrupt the laminar flow down the side of the car. Saying that the EV1 had them and it's CD is only 0.006 worse than the XL1, just goes to show what a complex subject aerodynamics is.
 

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even if it only reduces drag by a small amount, over the life of the car that all adds up, it also is less for inconsiderate idiots to bump into and scratch in small spaces.
 

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The aerodynamic drag on a car is a function of both drag factor and cross-sectional area. Thus the potential benefit of cameras is not just improved drag factor, but also in cross-section.

You might expect the benefit of no mirrors to be reasonably consistent vehicle-to-vehicle in total drag terms, but expressed in terms of drag factor bigger vehicles would show a smaller benefit because of their larger cross-sectional area.
 

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If a law change is incorporated to replace wing mirrors ith cameras, I'd also lobby for forward-facing devices to warn drivers when they are too close to something, eg when passing a cyclist. SMIDSY would be a thing of the past.
 

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It seems manufacturers keep increasing the size of a revamped or upgraded model..no wonder we're at the stage where we need to nearly squeeze between two average sized cars to reach our own driver's door and some take up 2 spaces to keep others away! Camera "mirrors" may help,but we're outgrowing a standard parking spot that was probably meant for a Ford Anglia,not Range Rovers..and does a Tesla even fit in a standard bay?:rolleyes:
 

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The aerodynamic drag on a car is a function of both drag factor and cross-sectional area. Thus the potential benefit of cameras is not just improved drag factor, but also in cross-section.

You might expect the benefit of no mirrors to be reasonably consistent vehicle-to-vehicle in total drag terms, but expressed in terms of drag factor bigger vehicles would show a smaller benefit because of their larger cross-sectional area.
I recall the TG race between May and Hammond in the Cessna and Clarkson in the Veyron..He mentioned the Veyron mirrors were designed to provide downforce at speed..dunno if the same principle applies to a Leaf,though..
 

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, it also is less for inconsiderate idiots to bump into and scratch in small spaces.
Is it just me then, that occasionally catches my wing mirror on someone elses - but otherwise would have had a worse close call?
 
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