Does the Audi e-tron Mean the End for Traditional Door Mirrors?
Since its announcement, the Audi e-tron EV has caught plenty of attention (with even more coming now that it has been announced for an early 2019 release). A lot of this attention is thanks to the fact that it’s the manufacturer’s first all-electric car, with a better battery capacity and faster charging time than many of the competitors already on the market. However, perhaps even more attention is going to the e-tron’s unique take on wing mirrors.
A mirror for the digital age
As standard, the base edition of the e-tron EV will still have traditional wing mirrors at £71,390. However, this can be upgraded with the same feature that comes as standard to the £82,240 Launch Edition. That feature is the camera-based virtual door mirrors. Rather than using traditional wing mirrors, this system instead deploys hi-tech video cameras on either side of the screen. The five-seater SUV has twin screens on the centre of the dash for the infotainment system, as well as bespoke touch screens built into the inside of both doors, offering constant feeds from both cameras. However, they offer more than just a reflection.
Smarter mirrors make for smarter drivers
The fact that the screens are located inside the doors means that drivers can get an unimpeded view of their surroundings. Where your view of traditional wing mirrors might be compromised by bad weather (or dirty windows) this ensures the view is always clear. This is improved by the use of high-fidelity cameras and OLED screens, providing a sharpness and clarity of image that one would expect to see in the average top-of-the-line digital TV, not the inside of a car. The cameras even have heating functions and dirt sensors to help you ensure that cold weather, mud, and dirt don’t compromise your safety.
What’s more, rather than providing a static feed, the virtual door mirrors are powered by smart technology to always provide precisely the view that you need. This includes automatically moving to cover or certain parts of the road such as when you’re turning, parking, or dealing with traffic on the motorway. If you want to see more of a particular area in your vision, specifically, you can tap on the touchscreen feeds to zoom in and highlight trouble spots.
Could this mean the death of the traditional wing mirror?
Audi is the first manufacturer to release virtual door mirrors with production line cars, though other manufacturers are already experimenting with the technology in their own prototypes. Though it’s unsure how long it might take for the advanced cameras and touchscreen capability to make its way across the industry, there are already plenty of eyes on Audi’s first all-electric.
If you want to learn more about Audi’s e-tron EV and be one of the first to get your hands on it, get in touch with Sinclair Audi. We have a host of official Audi dealerships and are poised to be amongst the first places in the country that you can try out Audi’s first all-electric car for yourself.