Japan Approves Mirrorless Cars

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Automakers have been experimenting with mirror replacement ideas for some time now. At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, BMW showcased its i8 with Mirrorless Cars Camera technology. Audi also used a rear-view camera for its R18 World Endurance Championship racers.

Japan has just approved the use of camera technology to replace mirrors on cars.

The benefits of mirror-replacing cameras are binary. Cameras are compact and provide an improved field of vision compared to conventional mirrors. They would also remove the need for large mirror enclosures which offers more design possibilities.

Ichikoh Industries of Japan primarily makes mirrors and lighting for cars. In addition, Robert Bosch of Germany produces automotive electronics. These companies will benefit the most from this legislative change.

Ichikoh CEO said Their job is to improve driving visibility with lighting and mirrors, but now also with cameras. There is a shift in technology, and it’s a new segment with greater content, which means higher revenue opportunities. The technology is a trend, and we have to be ahead of the others.

The section chief on engineering policy at Japan’s Road Transport Bureau says the UN regulations have rules that clearly define high-performance specifications. Camera monitors haven’t replaced mirrors because they didn’t have sufficient visibility, until now.

New Rules

Transport regulators in Japan changed the rules on June 17 to allow mirrorless cars.

The first product to take advantage of this shift is the Smart Rear View Mirror by Ichikoh. The mirror functions both as a standard mirror and with a switch. The mirror also streams a live video feed of the rear-view.

The video mirrors went into production on June 28 for a Japanese car maker. They plan to use the video monitor in a mid-range, low-volume model.

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