Before, there were driverless cars, next there will be mirrorless cars. Japan is already conceptualizing these vehicles without mirrors, and very soon we might get to see them on the road.
Just recently, Lexus gave a sneak peek of its UX SUV and its most interesting features were its sideview mirrors, or the lack thereof. Instead of mirrors, cameras were in place.
According to Automotive News, Ichikoh, a Japanese parts manufacturer, has estimated that around 29% of cars built for the Japanese market will feature rearview cameras instead of mirrors and that about 12% will have cameras in place of external mirrors.
"Our job is to improve the visibility of the drive, with lighting and mirrors, but now also with cameras," Ali Ordoobadi, Ichikoh CEO, said in an interview.
"There is a switch of technology, a kind of rupture," he added. "It's a really new segment with higher content, and that means higher revenue opportunities. This is the trend, and we have to be in front of the others."
With Japan as the first-mover of this new technology, they could garner a lot of potential in the arket from this status. Germany's Robert Bosch GmbH has started investing in mirrorless cars as well.
But, it's not just all about making money for these suppliers. Putting cameras instead of mirrors will improve safety and boost the fuel economy.
Cameras can capture a wider view, and can easily spot blindspots. It can also digitally improve the visibility when there is too much light or when its too dark.
Cameras can also help the fuel economy because they are lighter than mirrors. They give the vehicles an edgier look as well.
Once mirrorless vehicles become the big trend, we won't be surprised at all.