Here's what a car without mirrors looks like

Cars without mirrors are really a thing. And they will be here before you know it.

BMW i8 mirrorless concept carBMWBMW unveiled a mirrorless concept car in January at CES.

Automakers are aiming to replace rearview and sideview mirrors in vehicles with camera monitoring systems during the next few years. Japanese automakers have already gotten the ok to begin producing vehicles without mirrors, and European car makers are expected to follow suit soon.

These monitoring systems basically use cameras to stream high-resolution video to a display inside the vehicle.

For example, in the BMW i8 concept car shown above, a camera is placed on each side of the car where a sideview mirror would normally be located. These cameras, which are noticeably smaller than normal sideview mirrors, capture footage around the sides of the car.

BMW i8 mirrorless concept carBMWSlim cameras replace the sideview mirrors in BMW’s i8 concept car.

A third camera positioned inside the rear window also captures footage whatever is behind the car.

BMW i8 mirrorless back camera BMWThe rear camera inside BMW’s i8 concept car.

Software in the vehicle then stitches all of the video footage together to show a wide view of the car’s surroundings. This video stream is shown on a display located where a rearview mirror would typically be located.

BMW i8 concept car displayBMWA display replaces the typical rearview mirror in BMW’s i8 concept car.

BMW’s i8 Mirrorless concept car can even shows the driver warnings in the display if the cameras and other sensors detect potential threats or obstacles.

BMW and other automakers want to adopt camera systems because they provide a wider view to the driver, which helps eliminate blind spots. In addition, getting rid of bulky side mirrors also helps the cars become more aerodynamic.

Find out more about why automakers are embracing cars without mirrors here.

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