The Honda e electric car will be the first production model to fit door cameras in place of wing mirrors as standard.
Cameras can offer a superior view of the scene behind the car compared to traditional door mirrors, but the major advantage in electric cars is their size. A camera pod is much smaller than a door mirror pod, causing significantly less drag and helping to increase the range between charges of an EV.
According to Honda, the side cameras reduce drag by 90%, compared with conventional door mirrors. That results in around a 4% improvement for the whole vehicle.
The Japanese manufacturer adds that the side camera mirror system helps the e retain its modern and clean design, as the small camera pods hug close to the doors and add little disruption to the smooth A-pillars and doors, which have flush pop-out handles.
Audi and Honda have developed the camera technology in differing ways. Audi has incorporated the screens for the rear view image into the inside top corner of the door, close to where a driver would usually look towards the wing mirrors. However, Honda’s screens display a much larger view as part of the dashboard.
The Honda side camera mirror system also lets users switch between a ‘normal’ and ‘wide’ view, for improved visibility.
Honda’s new electric city car claims more than 125 miles of range, and will include a fast-charge function that will restore battery power to 80% in 30 minutes.
UK buyers can now reserve a Honda e online by putting down an £800 deposit. The total purchase price is expected to be around £28,000.