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Old 08-24-2008, 10:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Retractable wing mirrors?

Hey folks. I was thinking about this on the way to work the other day. Would it be possible to have an R/C type servo inside the mirror (the ones on my car are quite large, and should have a fair volume inside that's empty) to pull in and deploy the mirrors as needed? The circuitry shouldn't be too hard. A limit switch for each end of movement in series with the motor, and an open/closed switch inside. You could even design it so that they automatically retract over a certain speed, and then deploy as you slow down - with perhaps an override switch in case you needed them out.


It wouldn't be as aerodynamic as removing them and replacing with cameras, but I'm not sure of the legality of that in Australia, and some people might like to keep the stock look. The key with this would be to keep everything inside the existing body, otherwise any levers or things out in the air stream would counteract any CoD gains from having the mirror retracted.


So has anyone done this? Or is it too much trouble?

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Old 08-25-2008, 11:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thalass View Post
Hey folks. I was thinking about this on the way to work the other day. Would it be possible to have an R/C type servo inside the mirror (the ones on my car are quite large, and should have a fair volume inside that's empty) to pull in and deploy the mirrors as needed?
Had the same idea a while back and decided that it wasn't going to work. The problem for me is that normally I don't use the side mirrors, but when I do it's always a quick glance before a lane change. Having to deploy the mirror, then glance, then stow it again, was going to take too long.

Rather than just replacing mirrors with side cameras I was thinking that LIDAR might be interesting. The ranging information could be displayed directly under the rear view mirror, and formatted to show a top view of the car being driven and the positions, and probably the relative velocities (color coded?), of the neighboring vehicles. I think that in terms of safety and accident avoidance it would be better than either mirrors or cameras. Of course this is very expensive hardware at the moment, but it is under active development for the DARPA autonomous vehicle projects, for instance here: Welcome. The DARPA vehicles tend to use big round humps on the roof to house the scanner, but it could probably be built into the tail light housings, perhaps with a bit of protrusion to give a wider scan field on each side. Having slightly bulbous taillights should not cause too much drag, certainly less then the side mirrors that they replace.
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Old 08-25-2008, 02:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thalass -

(can't make out the BDBE or BOBE in your avatar)

Cool idea. For ease of implementation, I was thinking you could have a manual version for the driver's side. In most states, all you need is the driver's side anyway.

I keep imaging a ball stock that has a high degree of angular movement :



The above is not what I would use, but illustrates what I am thinking in my mind.

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Old 08-25-2008, 02:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You thought about having them simply drop down rather than slide out.
They used to have Trafficators on cars before electric indicator bulbs that would pop out the B pillar i think.
You could just have a lever to pull on rather than an electronic system.
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Old 08-27-2008, 08:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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(can't make out the BDBE or BOBE in your avatar)
heh. It's POPE.


pasadena_commut: Problem with LIDAR is that it'll have a relatively short range. In the display if not the sensor itself. With a mirror or camera you can look back for kilometres.

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