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Okay, whats the deal with outside rear view mirrors?

Posted by rkj 
rkj
Hi, Why are these mirrors distorted (especially the right one), "objects may be closer than ...." Why can't these things be just plain mirrors, flat and simple.

The other day I almost got clocked by a huge truck because I used the right outside rear view mirror (I was in the 528 and I think it has more distorted mirrors than the E30) to judge if I had enough room to pull out in to another lane. Seems like Bmw could do better. Anybody have any idea why this exists?

Thanks, Rick
The distorted convex mirrors began as popular aftermarket items, them manufacturers decided to make an extra equipment out of it.

You can have as much mirrors as you like, what is important is to adjust them properly, and most people can't be bothered with that...

Probably a few years from now mirrors will be replaced by cameras, showing the panoramic view on a display on the dash. Trains and trams have that already.
They're there as they enlarge your field of view, but they distort your ability to judge distances. My E46 has flat inner parts (4/5th) and the outer part is convex.

I doubt mirrors will be replaced by camera's soon on lower end vehicles, as is represents a considerable on-cost compared with regular mirrors. You'd need a camera and a screen for each mirror you'd need to replace. There's cheaper options than that, such as BLIS (blind spot information system), which helps you by warning a vehicle is beside you, possibly outside the view of your mirror.
rkj
Quote
Michiel 318iS
They're there as they enlarge your field of view, but they distort your ability to judge distances. My E46 has flat inner parts (4/5th) and the outer part is convex.

That sounds like a much better idea.

Thanks guys
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