NHTSA Debates Cameras Replacing Car Mirrors

Oct. 10, 2019
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is seeking comments on whether camera-based rear visibility systems can reliably serve as an alternative option to rearview mirrors.

Oct. 10, 2019—The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has published an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) in the federal register in order to seek public comment on permitting camera-based rear visibility systems as an alternative to inside and outside rearview cameras.

Federal motor vehicle safety standard (FMVSS) No. 111, “Rear Visibility,” currently requires that vehicles be equipped with rearview mirrors to provide drivers with a view of objects that are to their side or to their side and rear.

Manufacturers have submitted two rule-making petitions seeking to install camera-based rear visibility systems, commonly referred to as Camera Monitor Systems (CMS), on both light vehicles and heavy trucks. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and Tesla  has submitted a petition pertaining to light vehicles and Daimler Trucks North America has submitted one regarding heavy trucks.

One reason why NHTSA is seeking additional information is because research conducted by NHTSA and others conducted between 2006 and 2017 has consistently shown that prototype and preproduction CMS systems can exhibit safety-relevant performance issues such as blooming. 

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