The Mercedes-Benz EQS full-electric sedan is so packed with technology that much of the automaker’s 70-page press release on the car is devoted to explaining it. But there is one feature that the EQS surprisingly does not have: A rear-view camera system that replaces traditional mirrors.
To solve the problem of blind spots – made worse by safety regulations that have resulted in thicker body pillars and smaller glass surfaces – rear-facing cameras with an unobstructed view project images on a screen.
As a bonus, cars are more aerodynamic because the two side-view mirrors are eliminated or reduced to tiny cameras. That is especially important for electrified vehicles such as the EQS to gain a few extra miles of range.
Analysts and suppliers are bullish on the technology. Beyond the safety and aerodynamics benefits, said Aaron Dale of IHS Markit, rear-view cameras can be integrated with analytics software or algorithms to recognize pedestrians. That will be crucial in the future for self-driving cars.
Cars such as the Honda-e, the Lexus 300h and the Audi e-tron already offer such “virtual” rear-view mirrors.