Trucks without mirrors could be OEM-installed by 2025, providing drivers with a larger field of view and fewer blind spots, says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
NHTSA is considering allowing a camera monitor system, or CMS, to replace rearview and sideview mirrors on commercial trucks, reports Fleet Owner.
Currently, the MirrorEye CMS from Stoneridge is the only system that has received an exemption from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. However, trucks using the system still legally need traditional mirrors.
The MirrorEye system, for example, equips a vehicle with five cameras, sensors and three digital displays inside the cab in the form of two 12-in. vertical monitors attached to the A-pillars on both sides. It also adds a 7-in. screen that mounts high in the center of the cab — like a smaller vehicle’s rearview mirror.
The cameras are mounted on the exterior of the vehicle, near where traditional rearview mirrors are, to provide a similar field of view. Stoneridge says its CMS delivers a 25% larger field of view that eliminates common blind spots.
NHTSA has said that such a system could come with safety benefits, such as improved situational awareness for truck drivers that would lead to reduced sideswipes. Researchers have surveyed commercial drivers using supplemental CMS and found neutral and potentially positive findings concerning safety-critical events and drivers’ forward attention, according to NHTSA, which adds that no side-view mirrors mean more aerodynamic trucks and better MPG.
However, there are potential challenges. For example, drivers indicated that the glare produced from the system’s electronic visual displays was “too bright and affected their ability to see details in the forward roadway” and that “glare from the visual displays could be uncomfortable at night.”