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BMW i8 Mirrorless at CES 2016: cameras instead of mirrors

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BMW i8 Mirrorless without blind spots

W you already In numerous studies by other car manufacturers, cameras are installed on small support arms at the places where the exterior mirrors are located in the BMW study. Another camera is located at the top of the rear window. The images from the three cameras are shown on a display that is emblazoned in the place of the interior mirror. According to BMW representation, the images should show a larger panoramic perspective of what is happening behind than the mirrors allow. Even small and narrow road users such as bicycles are recorded - there should no longer be any blind spots.

The dimensions of the mirror display, 300 mm x 75 mm, roughly correspond to those of a conventional rear-view mirror. The highlight is that warning notices can be displayed depending on the traffic situation. If the driver sets the indicator to overtake and a vehicle approaches from behind at high speed, a conspicuous warning symbol appears in the mirror. For example, if the driver wants to turn right and turns the steering wheel, the image in the mirror also points in the direction of the turn. In addition, the corresponding lines can be shown in the display for easier parking and the front passenger can also check his side on the screen, e.g. to watch the traffic while getting off.

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Instead of a rearview mirror, a display shows images from three cameras.

BMW i8 becomes narrower without mirrors

The narrow and aerodynamic supports of the external cameras not only reduce the obstructed view to the front. - Wind noise is also minimized, the drag coefficient is optimized, consumption is reduced and rainwater is diverted from the windows. The gorilla glass of the cameras isbreak-proof, scratch-resistant and provided with an anti-dirt coating. Thanks to the new camera mirror, the vehicle width of the BMW is also reduced i8 to 1,942 mm.

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The BMW i8 without exterior mirrors is narrower - the drag coefficient is also improved.

This is what driving without exterior mirrors feels like

Out and about in the BMW i8 Mirrorless, currently the most expensive model in the series. After all, only one prototype has been built so far, the value of which is in the seven-digit euro range. But this prototype finally realizes what has been sold to us as a dream for over ten years at almost every motor show: The i8 Mirrorless does without mirrors and without blind spots.

The sweeping exterior mirrors of the i8 are used in the Mirrorless -Variant replaced by cameras held by small arms. These stubs must be: The legislator requires that the line of sight to the rear forms a straight line over the widest part of the vehicle. The driver sees what is happening behind the car and also to the side of the vehicle on a single screen that hangs where the interior mirror used to be.

Convenient: mirror settings are a thing of the past, the cameras are always the same positioned. The prototype enables two representations: on the one hand, a three-part 'triptych' view for test purposes, on the other hand a computationally assembled view that comes very close to the later series view. An image of the i8 is projected in the middle of this series view so that the driver can classify the image: What is happening right behind the vehicle, what is to the right and left of it.

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An image of the i8 is projected in the middle of this series view so that the driver can see it can classify: what is happening directly behind the vehicle, what is to the right and left of it.

No more looking over the shoulder

And especially when it comes to what's happening next to the vehicle, the driver has to s I get used to it thoroughly: The instinctive look through the side window when changing lanes and the shoulder look are no longer necessary - if you want to know what is going on next to your car, you have to look into the interior mirror monitor. The picture on this monitor is excellent even in dark light and bad weather conditions. 'The technology should definitely provide a better picture than when the driver turns around and looks back,' explains Philipp Hoffmann, project manager of the mirrorless system for the i8 and i3. This is not made possible by a night vision function, but by very sensitive camera technology, says Hoffmann. A special feature of the prototype are the small triangles in the camera arms on the right and left. These light up as a warning when a vehicle approaches on the right or left. These warning triangles are only there in the event that the driver inadvertently looks in the direction of the no longer existing exterior mirrors at high motorway speeds. They will probably not find their way into later series production.

Project manager Hoffmann points out another advantage of the mirrorless technology: The omission of the exterior mirrors means that the i8's aerodynamics are three percent better. This in turn either leads to a one percent reduction in CO2 emissions or a one percent longer range.

When will mirrorless technology go into series production?

The EU will take the approval -Regulations for vehicles without mirrors are now under attack. The strong selling markets of the USA and China will not adjust their approval regulations before 2017. Since the legislature is lagging behind the technical developments, customers have to wait a little longer for the technology, which is basically ready for series production.

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