Elon Musk wants you to pay more for your next new car – even if you don’t buy one of his cars.
The CEO of Tesla is “petitioning” the government to allow him – and everyone else – to eliminate rearview and exterior mirrors from new cars – in favor of in-car displays fed images by cameras. He says this will result in better aerodynamics and so, improved efficiency.
He doesn’t say what it will cost.
And not just Tesla buyers.
If this “petition” is successful, the rest of the industry will ape Elon – for the same reason you can’t find a new car without an LCD touchscreen or with a physical key for the ignition and door locks.
After spending some time in and occasionally behind the wheel of my girlfriends new (2019) car, I realized I would never (ever!) buy a car like that. First of all if you don’t own or use an iPhone the car is definitely going to think less of you. (Yeah, that the car is becoming sentient is definitely a possibility) An retired engineer I immediately start thinking about the many advanced systems installed in the vehicle, all of which depend on unreliable Chinese made circuit boards and components. The cost of this car exceeds the price my parents paid for the house I grew up in. It is ten thousand more than the 2012 Toyota I’m driving now. The cars of the future when all this new electronic, computer, audio-visual, hooting and tooting crap is made mandatory and installed will be astronomical. And the price for upkeep, maintenance and repair will be equally steep. And it is totally not worth it to me. Not, repeat, I am NOT interested.
To eliminate exterior mirrors entirely, it will take more cameras, erupting like zits all over the car. The images of the outside world will be conjured on a larger LCD displays inside the car.
In Teslas, everything is displayed on one hi-res flatscreen. Several other cars have a similar set-up. They are already aping Elon.
When the screen goes dark – or pixilates – it will have to be replaced.
This will not be cheap.
Let me ask a question. Do you hate it when all the mirrors in your car stop working at the same time? Oh. That’s never happened? Well guess what? In the future, it will. Because all those cameras that Elon insists he be allowed to use in place of mirrors all depend on that central hi-res flatscreen installed in the center console. And the funniest thing of all is that it doesn’t even need to be a electronic or mechanical problem that knocks it out. It could be a software error. Or even a successful hack!
Hackers! Gee wouldn’t that be fun. A hacker gets into the cars operating system and uploads a video file of a police cruiser coming up from behind or the side with lights flashing. In fact, since the cars operating system is open, the hacker can even have the cars hi-fidelity sound system play the exciting sound of the police siren over the speakers. And have the cars ‘Blind-Spot’ sensors flash and beep that annoying sound it makes.
If the hackers are really ambitious; program the entire model line of that car model to all ‘Run the program’ at the same day and time all across the nation. Just to make it interesting, have half the cars see the cruiser on the right and half see if on the left. Just imagine, thousands of cars all suddenly jerking left or right on the roads at the same time!
Of course if they had actual mirrors; (left, right and center) still installed to do a ‘reality check’ on the picture their cars flatscreen was giving them. . . but they won’t.
And then there is the whole issue of the missing CD player…. but that’s another story.