Let’s See How Those Audi E-Tron SUV Virtual Mirrors Actually Work
Don’t those displays look at little small to you?
One of the weirder aspects to the new Audi E-Tron electric SUV is its virtual side mirrors that replace traditional glass pieces with rear-facing cameras mounted to stalks. Videos now provide actual examples of how these devices work and possibly raise some questions about their effectiveness.
The clip above shows the touchscreen’s operation. Tapping the screen brings up an array of options to adjust the display. By using a finger, the driver can change where the camera looks. Pressing an icon lets the driver adjust the passenger side display, too.
The video below shows the mirrors working on the road.
While the seven-inch camera displays are nicely integrated into the cabin’s aesthetics, their shape doesn’t look ideal for seeing behind the vehicle. The trapezoidal screen means that there’s diagonal slice out of the top and one side of the image. Audi says that drivers can zoom the image in an out, so it might be possible to adjust the display to get a wider view. There are also three settings in the MMI system to adapt the cameras for highway motoring, turning, and parking.
The cabin will also feature digital displays for the instruments, infotainment, and HVAC controls. There will also be an optional, 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen stereo.
The virtual mirrors will be an option on the E-Tron and likely won’t be available in all markets. Most countries don’t yet have regulations that allow them to replace glass pieces. Japan is one of the few places that specifically permits camera-based side mirrors. However, Audi says that it is lobbying officials in major markets to change things.
Audi will officially debut the E-Tron to the press soon, and the company will begin deliveries at the end of 2018 or in very early 2019. The electric SUV will use a 95-kilowatt-hour battery that will allow for a 248.5-mile (400-kilometer) range in the WLTP test cycle.