Will a new law in Japan kick off the end of car mirrors?

2016 Cadillac CT6
Japan has become one of the first countries in the world to allow automakers to sell cars equipped with cameras in lieu of conventional mirrors.

The technology isn’t quite new; we’ve seen it on numerous concept cars over the past few years, including the Lamborghini Urus. In fact, Cadillac offers its CT6 flagship with a digital rear-view mirror (pictured) that displays obstacle-free footage of what’s behind the car at the simple push of a button. However, no one has been able to completely replace door mirrors with cameras on a production model because sole reliance on the technology is still illegal in most parts of the world.

That’s set to change, and Japan’s new law paves the way for the widespread adoption of cameras. Components manufacturers like Bosch and Ichikoh Industries have already started talking to automakers about supplying the technology for upcoming models. The car industry rarely wastes time in rolling out new innovations, and Ichikoh recently inked a deal to provide a digital rear-view mirror for a car that will go on sale in Japan in August. The make and model is being kept under wraps for the time being.

Cameras are safer than mirrors, according to BMW. They never need to be adjusted, and they make blind spots a problem of the past by providing an unobstructed view of what’s behind the car. They also reduce wind noise at high speeds, give the front passenger a better view of the outside world, and in the longer term they’ll allow designers to pen cars that are more aerodynamic.

In the United States, federal and state regulations dictate that every car needs to be equipped with at least one exterior mirror on the driver’s side and a rear-view mirror. However, a handful of automakers — including BMW, Nissan, and Tesla — have asked lawmakers to make mirror-less cars legal, and industry trade journal Automotive News predicts that the technology will show up on our shores around 2018.

Cars

Peloton’s tech lets truckers play follow the leader to boost fuel economy

Peloton Technology can help semi trucks save fuel by running close together on the highway. Using short-range wireless communications, the trucks get a kind of super cruise control.
Emerging Tech

A Japanese hotel fires half its robot staff for being bad at their jobs

Japan’s oddball Henn na Hotel has fired half of its 243 robot staff. The reason? Because these labor-saving machines turned out to be causing way more problems than they were solving.
Cars

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show: Where new muscle cars, trucks, and EVs convene

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.
Cars

Fast and Furious fans get revved up: Toyota’s Supra sports car is back

The 2020 Toyota Supra made its long-awaited debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The resurrected sports car, famous for a role in The Fast and the Furious, goes on sale in the U.S. this summer.
Cars

Self-driving, electric, and connected, the cars of CES 2019 hint at the future

Car companies remained surprisingly quiet during CES 2018. But they spoke up in 2019. From electric hatchbacks you can buy in 2019 to super-futuristic mood-detecting technology, here are the major announcements we covered during the event.
Cars

With 341 horsepower, the WRX STI S209 is the most powerful Subaru ever

The Subaru WRX STI S209 is the latest in a series of special editions that have never been sold in the United States before. The 341-horsepower pocket rocket debuts at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.
Cars

China’s GAC Motor cruises into Detroit with all-electric Entranze concept

Chinese automaker GAC Motor brought its all-electric Entranze concept to the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. This is the third straight year that GAC has appeared in Detroit, and the company has established a design center in California.
Cars

2020 Ford Explorer branches out with sporty ST, efficiency-focused hybrid models

The 2020 Ford Explorer gets two variants never before seen on Ford's stalwart family hauler. The ST focuses on performance, while the hybrid aims for decent gas mileage. Both models will debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.
Cars

Some of Volkswagen’s electric models will wear a ‘Made in the USA’ label

Confirming earlier rumors, Volkswagen has announced it will build electric cars in its Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory. The facility currently produces the Passat and the Atlas. Production will start in 2023, Digital Trends can reveal.
Cars

Infiniti previews its leap into one of the hottest industry segments

Infiniti will unveil the QX Inspiration concept at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The design study is an electric crossover shaped by Infiniti's newest design language that may point to a future production model.
Cars

Hyundai’s Veloster N hot hatchback will prove its mettle on the track

The Hyundai Veloster N will go racing to prove the credibility of Hyundai's new N performance division. Unveiled at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Veloster N race car will compete in a class with other small cars.
Cars

Nissan IMs concept teases a future long-range, autonomous electric car

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Nissan IMs is an electric car with a 380-mile range, autonomous-driving capability, and a backseat designed for being chauffeured. Too bad it's just a concept car.
Cars

The 2020 Lexus RC F goes on a diet to run faster and hit harder

The Lexus RC F has been one of the heavier cars in its competitive set since its introduction. The Japanese firm's engineers set out to shed weight as they gave the model a mid-cycle update.
Cars

Lexus LC convertible concept teases a new open-air flagship

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Lexus LC convertible concept adds open-air motoring to the sleek LC's resume. But Lexus won't commit to a production version of the car just yet.