BMW unveiled its mirror-less i8 concept car during this week’s CES 2016 held in Las Vegas.
The rear-view and side-view mirrors on the new BMW i8 concept have been replaced by three cameras and a special screen to show drivers what is behind and surrounding the car.
Two of the cameras are situated on the i8’s side exterior where there would normally be side mirrors, while the other camera is situated inside its rear window.
The cameras replacing the rear-view and side-view windows will help to eliminate blind spots, with the i8’s BMW eDrive technology combining the three camera’s video footage to provide an all-encompassing view of the road.
The i8’s eDrive technology features high-resolution video from the cameras streamed to a screen where the rear-view mirror would normally be, and also provides warning signals on the screen if it senses any dangerous situations.
This week’s unveiling of the BMW i8 follows its genesis in 2008, with the launch of Project I – which had the objective of reinventing urban mobility.
One year later, and the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept showed what a technology leader such as BMW geared fully toward energy saving can look like, and formed the basis of the creation of the BMW i8.
Combined with its BMW eDrive technology, the i8 features a BMW TwinPower Turbo 1.5 litre, 3 cylinder petrol engine that brings the benefits of an electric motor together with a petrol engine to enhance the driving experience.
BMW said that the BMW i8’s innovative camera technology would mean “dangerous blind spots have been consigned to the past”, and that “the image of the traffic behind the car covers a greater viewing angle than could be observed using the interior and exterior mirrors, no adjustment of the cameras is necessary.”
While the BMW i8 may feature an innovative safety feature in the form of cameras replacing the rear-view and side-view mirrors, the car would still be illegal to drive in the US, in which National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rules require rear-view windows in every vehicle.
The new BMW i8 concept car is expected to be sold in 50 countries. The US is the current leading market for the existing i8 with a reported 2,820 cars sold in 2015.