GM’s camera rearview mirror is ok, Federal regulators say

2016 Cadillac CT6
Almost a year ago, General Motors showed off a rearview mirror that could stream feed from a camera, and promised to offer it on the Cadillac CT6 luxury sedan. Now, the feature has received approval from regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx confirmed this in an interview earlier this week with NPR. He then tweeted a letter dated February 22 confirming that the camera rearview mirror complies with federal safety regulations. Essentially, the NHTSA doesn’t believe that adding the camera component makes a difference in terms of compliance.

The mirror can switch between camera and conventional rear view with the press of a button. Using the rear-facing camera, Cadillac claims visibility improves by up to 300 percent, and that the view is as obstruction-free as in a convertible with the top down.  The camera is supposed to eliminate blind spots caused by pillars and such, and provide a wider-angle view.

After the CT6 goes on sale in the U.S. in March, GM plans to offer the camera rearview mirror on the 2017 Cadillac XT5 crossover and the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car. The XT5 will go on sale in April, while Bolt EV production won’t start until closer to the end of this year. A feature like this helps GM show off its tech savvy, hence its inclusion on high-profile luxury cars and the company’s electric car tour de force.

While regulators seem okay with a rearview display that is still a conventional mirror, it’s hard to say whether they will go further. Certain carmakers want the government to legalize sideview cameras as a replacement for mirrors, in part because of potential aerodynamic benefits.

BMW showed a mirrorless i8 concept at CES last month, and Tesla Motors has lobbied hard for sideview cameras like the ones shown on the original prototype version of its Model X. Tesla and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers lobbying group petitioned the NHTSA in 2014 to allow sideview cameras, but so far regulators haven’t budged.

Product Review

2019 Volkswagen Jetta offers German refinement and tech at an affordable price

With enough tech to make villains jealous, the Volkswagen Jetta punches above its class as a forward-thinking sedan. Spacious, comfortable, and efficient, the Jetta is a refined offering. German refinement comes with a serious attitude.
Cars

The go kart-like Mini Cooper will soon add zero emissions to its resume

Mini is in the final stages of developing an electric version of the Cooper. The 2020 Cooper SE will receive powertrain components from the BMW i3, including a 181-horsepower electric motor and battery technology.
Cars

Tesla ends scheduled servicing because electric cars need less maintenance

Tesla will longer offer scheduled maintenance plans, switching to an "as needed" model. This reflects the fact that electric cars need less regular maintenance than gasoline or diesel cars.
Cars

Autonomous shuttle rides coming to New York City via Optimus Ride

Workers at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in NY City will soon be able to make their way around the 300-acre industrial park in Optimus Ride's self-driving shuttles. The tech startup says it's the first trial of its kind in the state.
Cars

Protect yourself and your ride with our favorite dash cams

Dashboard cameras can assist drivers in car accident claims, settle speeding ticket disputes, and even catch glimpses of incoming meteors, among other things. Here, we've compiled a list of the most noteworthy offerings available.
Cars

Tesla revives its referral program with chances to win a Roadster

Tesla has revived its referral program that ended in February because of cost pressures. This time around the perks aren't quite as diverse, though it does offer regular chances to win a Roadster or Model Y.
Cars

From cars to computers: How data is transforming F1 racing

After a single weekend of racing, a Formula 1 pit crew typically pulls around 2TB of data from the car. Everything, from tire pressure to the temperature of the track, is recorded and analyzed in the name of boosting performance -- and not…
Product Review

By adding features, tech, and all-wheel drive, Mazda puts the 3 in a class of one

Since its introduction in 2003, Mazda’s compact Mazda3 has been a mainstay of the brand’s driver-oriented strategy. Mazda now plans to move upmarket, and the all-new 2019 Mazda3 offers some clues about how that’s going to work.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Cars

Tesla Model 3 vulnerability exposed at Pwn2Own; hackers take home the car

A Tesla Model 3 vulnerability was exposed at the Pwn2Own hacking competition. The hackers, who were able to display a message on the electric vehicle's internet browser, won $35,000 and took home the car.
Cars

Is this electric car startup the next Tesla, or will it go the way of Coda?

The electric car startup formerly known as EVelozcity has changed its name to Canoo. It also announced a lineup of four cars including a commuter-friendly model and a lifestyle-oriented car. Its first electric vehicles will begin to appear…
Cars

Ford’s born-again Bronco off-roader will soothe your 1990s nostalgia

Ford confirmed it will bring the Bronco back to American showrooms in 2020. We haven't seen the truck yet, but dealers who got a preview of it during a private event say it's a true off-roader aimed directly at the Jeep Wrangler.
Cars

Recall bounty hunters needed as millions ignore deadly Takata airbag recall

It's the recall campaign from hell and too many people aren't responding. Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) and Carma Project want to give financial rewards to people who alert family and friends to the deadly Takata airbag recall.
Cars

Keep your driving record squeaky clean with these top-flight radar detectors

Nobody likes getting a speeding ticket, but these gadgets can help. Check out our picks for the best radar detectors on the market, from the likes of Valentine One, Escort, and Beltronics.