Mirrorless rear view system design review

BMW just showed a concept i8 called i8 Mirrorless at the CES. The car gets rid of the traditional rear view mirrors and adopted a whole new rear view system. The left and right rear view mirrors are now replaced with two cameras. The real time views of the left and right cameras and also the back camera are then showed together on the center “rear view mirror,” which is now a wide center digital display. Below are the pictures of the concept i8:


This concept can also be found in the 2014 movie Need for Speed. In the movie the project Ford Mustang is also equipped with a mirror less system. In the picture below we can see that the driver side mirror has been replaced by a camera facing backwards. Above the dashboard there’s a HUD which shows driving data and also the views of the left and right rear view cameras.


The advantage of the mirrorless concept is obvious:

  1. Integrated rear view. No need to look over shoulder anymore. Driver’s eyes always look towards the front. This increase safety.
  2. More efficient. With smaller casings only for the cameras, there’s less wind drag on the car.
  3. Nightvision cameras eliminates blind spots during night driving.
  4. Cars look cool with futuristic equipment like this.

Right now there’s no such product on the market. So for my main project, I decided to try it out and design a cost friendly mirrorless rear view system. Due to my budget, my design will be mostly focused on the left camera housing and the interior rear view digital display.


  1. Hook up camera and TFT display
  2. 3D printing the camera housing and display housing


  1. CMOS camera $10
  2. 2.4″ TFT display $6
  3. 3D printing filament
  4. Raspberry Pi $39

Total: ~$150


3/3-3/8   Concept sketch

3/8-3/11  Order parts

3/11-3/16  Making 3D printing parts

3/16-3/20 Assemble all the parts

3/20- 3/25       Review the product and refine

The timeline might be modified according to the actual process of the project. The project itself might also be slightly modified.



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6 Comments. Leave new

  • Gardner Nichols
    March 7, 2016 12:35 pm

    This seems like an ambitious but cool project. It’s too bad that you won’t use it in your own car though. It will be interesting to see how connecting the camera to the display works out. Are you going to to to have multiple cameras to create one image?

  • Brittany Warly
    March 7, 2016 12:32 pm

    this looks like a challenging but fun, applicable project. I like that you are challenging yourself on this and I am sure you will learn a lot in the experience which will be valuable!

  • Your idea is very interesting! I think the budget is a little bit under-estimated, since you might reiterate the design back and forth, which might need extra materials. I am really looking forward to your design. Good luck.

  • Brendan Warren
    March 6, 2016 11:50 pm

    I’m happy you were able to come up with a project that aligned with your personal interests. I would have no idea where to start with all of the electronics, but it sounds like you have an idea. I agree with Tyler, that you should try to match the luxury car aesthetic or that of your own car if you plan to implement this for yourself. Good call only doing one side to save money. I think the project will still show the desired aesthetic while saving you some precious cash. Looking forward to seeing it!

  • This is a really cool concept, and improving safety is always a plus! The design seems pretty straight forward, and looks to have interesting functionality too. Have you thought about a matte black housing, since that copies a similar style of luxury cars?


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