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Periscopic side view mirrors

Instead of going to cameras, make a mechanical solution!
  (+4, -1)
(+4, -1)
  [vote for,

A lot of vehicles (like my current crush, Aptera) are lobbying for side view mirrors to be replaced by cameras to improve aerodynamics. This seems both inefficient, and against my personal desire for as few electronic things in a car as possible.

Couldn't there be a prism and lens setup that would show the same image as a mirror, but with a tiny lens on the outside and the image inboard of the body shell? So that it's effectively the same result as a camera, but not require any electronics?

NOTE: a search shows that egbert made a comment about this, but I didn't see any ideas listed with this concept.

simpleknight, Oct 12 2022

This, but with a wider view https://patents.goo...atent/US3979158A/en
[a1, Oct 12 2022]

Lamborghini Periscopo https://coreofcars....ountach-periscopio/
[bs0u0155, Oct 12 2022]

Coming soon-ish… https://en.wikipedi.../wiki/Aptera_Motors
… deliveries projected for 2021 slipped to 2023. or 2024. Or … ? [a1, Oct 13 2022]


       I wonder whether optical fibres might help with this.
pertinax, Oct 12 2022

       Your current “crush” is an electric car but you have a personal desire for as few electronics as possible?   

       A pedal powered Aptera might fill the bill.
a1, Oct 12 2022

       In theory, you could put a lens the size of a phone camera out on a thin tube and then use either mirrors or possibly a liquid light guide to bring the light to a screen where it's expanded for the viewer.   

       This is not unlike a microscope in many respects, luckily I know all about those. The main problem is the AMOUNT of light. A phone camera is small and only a very small amount of light enters the lens and hits the sensor. Now the camera can compensate by having a relatively long exposure time. In this system, the interior screen/eyepiece of the periscope would be dim, now, our eyes can compensate like a camera can by opening the iris etc. But, the way you use these devices, you only glance at them and then back out of the front of the car at the road. Your eye wouldn't have much time to get full sensitivity for the rear-view periscope, so you'd always be looking at a very dim representation of the rear view if done this way.   

       Other issues include liquid/fiber light guides losing 40-60% of the light on the way (or actually at the entry/exit points).   

       With the current system, the mirrors are more or less AS bright as everything else you're looking at, possibly brighter as they're taking wide angle light and concentrating it.   

       The car periscope has been done for the rear view of course: <link>.
bs0u0155, Oct 12 2022

       The low-light problem can be solved by using AI to extrapolate from the limited information a garish artist's impression of what *might* be coming up behind you in the fast lane.
pertinax, Oct 12 2022

       I like the philosophy around this idea **, but it seems like an idea in search of itself, where, it doesn't know what the solution is.   

       ** " an electric car but you have a personal desire for as few electronics as possible" - this is what I want. Just because the powertrain is electric, doesn't mean complexity, or any other thing. You don't need an AI or integrated circuits or a touchscreen to have a powerful electric vehicle, all you need is a battery and some wheels.   

       ANALOG electric. That is the way of the future. That is the TRABANT of the future.
mylodon, Oct 13 2022

       When I was at school we had a project to make a 3 wheel electric vehicle. It had a plywood base board, the sawn off front of a bicycle (to give steering and brakes, two bicycle rear wheels and an old washing machine motor or something driven by a car battery. We didn't get very far because no-one knew how to find an old working ladies bike and saw it in half and weld the two downtubes to a mounting plate.   

       It didn't have any kind of wing mirrors.   

       Also you could look at the electric velomobile scene to see how they are handling rear view issues
pocmloc, Oct 13 2022

       [mylodon], you’re right, because I made a hasty, poorly thought out edit. I originally scoffed at lusting for an Aptera sans electronics but generalized it to “electric car.” Shirley your “wheels, battery, motor” Trabant is possible. But modern electric cars are not that, and would not work or even exist* without a lot of sophisticated electronics.   

       * I’m not even sure the Aptera “exists” except for a few concept models and a Ponzi scheme. Since 2005 have they ever delivered a single vehicle to a customer anywhere? Are there any on the road?
a1, Oct 13 2022

       One problem with cameras is enforcement, i.e. how to tell at a distance if another car has functioning side view mirrors.
sninctown, Oct 13 2022

       [mylodon], YES. I went to an electric vehicle expo a few weeks ago, & most of them are rubbish. Car designers seem to have completely forgotten the 100+ years of car ergonomics development.
As for cameras vs mirrors, a camera can give you a better view (eg: from low at the back instead of the internal mirror) & increased brightness (or even "night-vision"), but a mirror gives you depth perception (to a degree) & a variable view (moving your head); both have their upsides. But cameras need power etc; a mirror can't glitch.
neutrinos_shadow, Oct 13 2022


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