New cars must come equipped with standard backup cameras by May 2018 due to a law passed today by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and if Tesla has its way, this is just the start of new ways motorists will see out of their vehicles.
Tesla filed a petition with the 12-member Alliance of Automotive Manufacturers lobbying group Monday asking the NHTSA for the permission to replace sideview mirrors with cameras.
Currently sideview mirrors are required on all U.S. vehicles, and they cannot be replaced with camera technology. The petition states that sideview mirrors decrease fuel economy and add drag. Tesla founder Elon Musk has been a proponent of this switch for almost two years but has found change impossible by himself.
The lobbying group represents popular automakers like Toyota and Volkswagen, so Tesla’s involvement could help change the tide for the issue. However, regulations are known to move slowly within the NHTSA, so it could be a couple years before side mirrors are dropped entirely.