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BMW joins the mirrorless car club at CES

Autoblog logo Autoblog 1/5/2016 Michael Austin

BMW reveals the i8 Mirrorless concept at CES 2016, which replaces all its mirrors with cameras. There's also a camera-augmented rearview mirror on the i3.Another item the future promised us is finally arriving: cameras for rearview mirrors. It's coming on the Cadillac CT6, Audi played around with the idea in its Le Mans racers, and Tesla has plans to get in on the action. And now add BMW to that list with the i8 Mirrorless concept revealed at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

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In BMW's scheme, three cameras replace the mirrors. One big adjustment from years of automotive convention is the lack of any side glances for the driver. A display in place of the conventional rearview mirror shows a composite wide-angle image. Imminent hazards, such as a vehicle in the blind spot, are shown with yellow warning icons.

Previous mirrorless designs have mounted cameras flush with the body, but the i8 Mirrorless uses wing-like side cameras. They also serve as turn signal indicators. We assume that the narrow profile is more aerodynamic than the housing for a large piece of reflective glass.

Also in BMW's CES bag of tricks is the BMW i3 Extended Rearview Mirror. This uses a rear-facing, roof-mounted camera that overlays images on the conventional interior mirror. But we do have some questions – what happens when the cameras get dirty? Mirrors still work even when partially obscured by dirt. And when will these ideas see production? Stay tuned as we'll follow up with answers from BMW's booth on the CES show floor soon.

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