Aptera › Community › Aptera Discussions › Side and rear view mirrors/cameras
Side and rear view mirrors/camerasPosted by konijntje on September 1, 2021 at 10:32 pm
Hello everyone, I’m new here. I remember i was excited about aptera in 2020, but now re-found it, and considering making a pre-order and investment soon.
One thing i was wondering, if aptera can do camera’s instead of mirrors, why they are not opting to go with 180 degree camera’s.
I attached a photo that shows that 180 degree camera’s can fully cover the sides of the car, and would like to discuss this and get opinions on it.
Positives are obvious:
1. No sticking out camera, thus more aerodynamic design and longer range/less noise.
2. Much less chance on damage.
3. More visibility (the screens in the car could simply cut off the part that you do not need to see and turn it to a angle that fits perfect)
4. The car would -probably- allow for a 360 degree mode as some cars currently have. (as front wheels stick out, not 100% sure it can be done)
5. More safety for the car driver.
Probably going to be a bit more expensive, but much? for the good it adds?
Probably needs to be a high-res camera. Maybe it doesn’t exist in affordable high resolution?
Thanks for reading, and excited to be part of the community of Aptera.
JRWiley replied 1 week, 5 days ago 42 Members · 64 Replies
- This discussion was modified 11 months, 4 weeks ago by bbelcamino.
- This discussion was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by Gabriel Kemeny.
- This discussion was modified 4 months, 2 weeks ago by Gabriel Kemeny.
- 64 Replies
Side and rear view mirrors/camerasJRWiley updated 1 week, 5 days ago 42 Members · 64 Replies
PistonboyMemberSeptember 1, 2021 at 10:32 pm
If you go to the Aptera home page and scroll down to the third picture, it show a rear view of the vehicle. It appears the rear view camera is mounted below the license plate. This will give a very good view of the rear vehicle’s grill. Unfortunately I do not care for such an accurate picture of the grill. I prefer a view from a higher point, similar to the same height as a mirror produces.
- This reply was modified 8 months ago by John Trotter. Reason: Title expanded for search clarity
- This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by Gabriel Kemeny.
Deleted UserDeleted UserSeptember 1, 2021 at 10:57 pm
All rear view cameras on most all vehicles are mounted somewhere near the rear license plate, on my 2018 Subaru Impreza, it’s right above the rear license plate. All rear view cameras on all makes and models, including the Aptera, use a wide angle lens. You will have a broad view of what’s behind you with this camera mount, not just the front license plate of the vehicle behind you. I’m guessing Aptera’s brain trust went with below the license plate, because the rear end of the Aptera sits significantly higher than most other vehicles.
RoshiyuMemberSeptember 1, 2021 at 11:15 pm
I’m not sure if all Apteras get it, or only those who get the solar package covering the rear window, but the camera that replaces the traditional rear view mirror appears to be mounted at the top of the rear window.
RileyMemberSeptember 1, 2021 at 11:36 pm
That is correct, the rear view mirror camera is mounted at the top of the rear hatch on all versions of Aptera. When you put the vehicle into reverse it will use the lower camera.
joshua-rosenMemberOctober 21, 2021 at 7:26 am
They have been counting on using camera’s instead of side mirrors but those still haven’t been legalized in the US. The rule making for side camera’s started two years ago but apparently there has been no progress on the issue. Elon tweeted that Tesla is going to make the mirrors removable on the Cybertruck so that customers can take them off themselves. I doubt if he ran that tweet by his lawyers before he made it but assuming that it would be legal to do that does Aptera have any plans to do the same. Have the side camera’s plus some removable mirrors for regulatory purposes. Side camera’s are legal in the EU and frankly they should work much better than mirrors which tend to have a very limited field of view plus the drag from mirrors is pretty bad.
kerbe2705MemberOctober 21, 2021 at 8:22 am
Note, too, that the rulings don’t disallow the use of wing cameras – they just require the use of wing mirrors. I’m not certain if they specify size and shape of those mirrors, but I believe they specify that they must be door-mounted (as opposed to the Japanese practice of fender-mounted wing mirrors).
Pragmatic_to_a_FaultMemberOctober 21, 2021 at 4:58 pm
The rules are different in each state , if it’s a “car” in Maryland it only needs 1 drivers side mirror , if it’s a motorcycle , I needs 2 mirrors , one on each handlebar.
john-trotterModeratorOctober 21, 2021 at 6:46 pm
Clean paper engineering would clearly favor cameras and screens. The video in Curtis’ comment is clear. Ultimately, curmudgeons and regulators will come around. Test drives will sell curmudgeons. Regulators may be harder, but finding the written basis of the regs would be an important part. Not just the regs themselves, but the accompanying explanation (“statement of consideration” or some such) that was provided when the regulations were made or modified. Lawyer stuff.
RussellMemberOctober 22, 2021 at 4:05 am
I like the idea of removable exterior mirrors. In my home state of South Carolina exterior mirrors are not required if the driver has a clear view out of the back of the vehicle. So an Aptera with the solar hatch would need outside mirrors but one without the solar hatch could remove them. SC does require a mirror on motorcycles but that mirror could be mounted inside the Aptera and still meet the code.
greg-mirichMemberDecember 1, 2021 at 4:18 pm
Here is a thought on the side mirrors. Let Aptera install side view cameras but make a mirror that slides over the cameras and is removable by the owner. Once you register your car you have the option of removing the side view mirrors and use the cameras. Might be a way to get around the antiquated law.
RonnieMemberDecember 1, 2021 at 4:31 pm
My vote too, “absolutely”.
If the laws aren’t ready upon release, the change will still be forthcoming. Get ahead of the curve. Reminds me of autopilot hardware in preparation thereof. There’s no difference in my mind. Just do it!
Let’s hope that is their plan. Elon has suggested something “similar-ish” would happen with the Cybertruck regarding mirrors.
BUGMemberDecember 7, 2021 at 7:10 am
Make the Rear View Devices Like Cellphones – have the camera Peering out of a Small Port on a Small Reflective Surface – Dual Use/Purpose. They would naturally Aim the Same View, but the Camera View (Due to the Magic of Refractive Lenses) could have Zoom, and Wide Angle Views.
When Parked, Have the Views be Wide Angle, so Security System could catch Keying/Bashing by Malefactors and accidents
BUGMemberDecember 12, 2021 at 7:39 am
Sadly, in Last Ambassador’s Virtual Event, it was mentioned that the Federal laws, Lagging by Twenty Years as usual, require a Rear View Mirror of TEN SQUARE INCHES to be hanging out in the Windstream. (How many Years was it that Automobile Aficionados were asking to Dump the Round Sealed Beam Headlights Mandated by the Feds?) There goes some Hundredths of the Good CD!!!! Just What We Need, More *&#@%!! Government! Thank Heaven We aren’t getting all the Gummint We are paying For!!! (Tip O the Hat to Mark Twain…or was it Will Rogers?)
It were Me, I would “Comply” by a Two by Five Mirror, mounted end-on Driverside, the Video from near center on the Tail, and No Mirror or VidCam on Passenger side. I’ll be quick with Hammer, Hacksaw, or Prybar on the Driverside Mirror, if there is a Video Camera behind it, peering through a Hole in same.
Jon_ArrynMemberFebruary 1, 2022 at 4:49 am
I’m also looking forward to seeing the revised CD ratings with whatever production side-view mirrors they go forward with. Actually, I’m more interested in how those mirrors affect (if any) mileage per battery configuration. I recall, with Munro’s YouTube interview with Chris, them mentioning that the F-150 mirrors had more drag than all of Aptera. I’m not suggesting it’s going to be that bad, but obviously there’s some impact. Hopefully they can tune/engineer around the mirror requirements without sacrificing established performance/efficiency goals. Doesn’t sound like the regulations surrounding side view mirrors are going to change anytime soon.
William_JMemberFebruary 1, 2022 at 10:30 pm
I believe I found the applicable standard 571.111 related to rear view mirrors here:
I was trying to piece together what the requirements were for the Aptera and whether there might be a reasonable fit to the law that wouldn’t meaningfully impair the coefficient of drag. I wasn’t sure if the Aptera would be considered a passenger car, multipurpose passenger vehicle or a motorcycle since, of course, there is no reference to an autocycle in this old standard. The requirements are different depending upon the type of vehicle.
I was speculating on whether the drivers side-view mirror might be an interior mirror up against the surface of the glass window of the Aptera (cut to fit the curvature of the window). I took a mirror and sat in my own vehicle with the mirror inside and had a reasonable field of view behind me outside of the driver’s side window. Certainly the view in the outside mirror was better and captured the outside door handles, but that’s not to say an interior mirror might not be sufficient. If the Aptera fits in the definition of a motorcycle, then there is not within the standard the statement that the mirror be “outside”, rather it just needs to be at least 279mm outside the longitudinal centerline of the motorcycle. With the Aptera’s curved window and overall vehicle shape, an interior mirror might function even better than it does on my own vehicle which is boxy. Of course, the window needs to be able to roll down, so maybe the attachment could be on the upper fixed portion of the window.
There are many subsequent filings in the federal register related to FMVSS No.111 on rearview mirrors that add more context and I have been leafing through them. Perhaps it is one of these later documents that clears things up as far as what the requirements are for an autocycle, I don’t know.
curtis-cibinelMemberFebruary 27, 2022 at 7:23 pm
Speculating about potential tacky ways to to comply with the letter of a rule without knowing exactly how it is worded is pointless. The surface likely cannot pivot with steering and undoubtedly has many other stipulations.
Placing the minimum amount on the camera stocks seems to be the best current plan. To be determined if they designed this to be removed when the rule is fixed.
wilson-tsaiMemberFebruary 27, 2022 at 7:30 pm
I know it’s a long stretch for the two suggestions to be acceptable. I just hope Aptera makes it possible/simple enough for us to be able to disconnect the camera from the currently required mirror and then be able to attach the camera directly onto the body once the law permits it.
Jon_ArrynMemberFebruary 28, 2022 at 4:56 am
NHTSA has this as a docket item awaiting disposition, since 2019 🙁 Currently, the last public comment is from May 2021 – Federal Register :: Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 111, Rear Visibility.
Based on NHTSA testing in the following document from 2018, their testing seems to favorably compare side cameras to mirrors. Examination of a Prototype Camera Monitor System for Light Vehicle Outside Mirror Replacement (nhtsa.gov). Maybe there’s hope..
joshua-rosenMemberMarch 1, 2022 at 11:17 am
Will the ADAS system use camera’s or just RADAR? If there is a front facing camera it will likely be mounted on the windshield which gets cleaned by wipers. Because they have no intention of offering FSD on this car the side and rear camera’s won’t need automatic cleaning. People are pretty good at interpreting data from dirty cameras and if it’s bad enough you can clean them off the next time you stop. I always have some glass cleaner in my trunk.
kerbe2705MemberMarch 1, 2022 at 10:49 pm
ShawgrinMemberMarch 13, 2022 at 11:28 am
According to the federal government that they are going to start a 3-year test program to decide whether side mirrors or cameras should be used in the future. If you want to get in on the testing I posted the link down below.
IA-1MemberMarch 18, 2022 at 2:17 pm
Since there will be no back window for the full solar package, there must be a solution to keep the back camera clean at all times. There should be no excuse for having a limited rear view camera (or side view camera) visibility. On a “regular car” we have a back window defroster and on some cars back window wipers. We also have side view mirror defrosters which can dry out the mirrors when there is water from rain, snow or condensation. Having side and back view visibility at all times is a must, and I am not willing to compromise on that.
joshua-rosenMemberMarch 28, 2022 at 8:18 am
It looks like they’ve moved the side view displays where the instrument binnacle usually is. On the alpha they were on the edges of the dash. The alpha positioning is much better, I think it will be really distracting to have the side view images directly in front of the driver. When you are doing a lane change you want to look out the appropriate side window as well as look at the “mirror”. With the displays on the side they will be in your field of view, if they are in front of you then you’ll have to look in two places.
paul-kirchnerMemberMarch 28, 2022 at 9:32 am
I think having the sideviews directly in front is a game changer. I’m all for it.
dean-mcmanisMemberMarch 28, 2022 at 9:55 am
I am hoping that you can switch the camera view and other features to the small screen. I would like the option to have other information on the new screen until I signal to change lanes. Plus I’d like the option to split the screen so that the left side view comes up on the left side of the small dash screen, and the right side camera view comes up on the upper right corner of the main screen. But I’d like those views off unless I signal or there is a vehicle in my blindspot. maybe that video could also be split on the rear view camera. It would be nice to have the view initiated by voice command as well. This is just brain storming, but it could be more useful/intuitive than just fixed side views on the one small dashboard screen.
peter-jorgensenMemberMarch 28, 2022 at 1:29 pm
I like having separate screens but if they stick it on the cluster and it works ok and feels safe to everyone I’m sure I can get used to it. These folks over at Ecomodder have been doing all sorts of crazy stuff for a while and apparently get used to it quick.
alex-vanturionMemberApril 13, 2022 at 9:54 pm
It’s probably a bit of a long shot, but I was hoping that someone on the forum would be able to tell me where Aptera sourced their side-view cameras and displays from?
I modified my van a while back to accept small side-view cameras and A-pillar displays, but the performance and clarity is pretty sub-standard at 480P/VGA with the cheap hardware I sourced from Ali-express. I’d love to upgrade if I knew where I could get compatible 12V components…
(I wasn’t having any luck with the photo upload so hopefully document pic attachment works)
BikerModeratorApril 14, 2022 at 5:44 am
Whatever answer you get today may change soon thereafter. Aptera went away from the Alpha design and will no longer have those displays by the mirrors like you have. Also, not sure the camera/mirror combo they will eventually have, has been finalized, nor if the supplier will entertain individual sales. As well, with the “assembly” approach Aptera is using, the door supplier may be the source of the parts, not Aptera. All that will have to wait several months as we get closer to production.
- This reply was modified 11 months, 1 week ago by Gabriel Kemeny.
alex-vanturionMemberApril 14, 2022 at 10:02 am
That’s OK if they’re not going to be used in the production model, I’m just looking to chase down the supplier they used for the Alpha components as those look like they’d be a great fit for my application.
You’re probably right about that, the supplier probably wouldn’t be interested in retail or individual sales, but at least I could try and chase down if those components have been used in any other applications and maybe those applications have a repair department who I could source from. I would think Aptera used something off-the-shelf for their prototype and I doubt these cameras and displays were made bespoke just for them…
- This reply was modified 11 months, 1 week ago by Alex Vanturion.