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Mobil­i­ty with Atti­tude (MWA) — Cars won’t look the same again

The Audi e‑tron pro­to­type.

AUDI is prepar­ing a dig­i­tal answer to a ques­tion no one asked.

The Ger­man brand has revealed its lat­est hi-tech gad­get — the “vir­tu­al exte­ri­or mir­rors”, which trans­lates sim­ply to dig­i­tal mir­ror.

This set-up will appear on the elec­tric Audi e‑tron SUV. The green fam­i­ly car will be the first vehi­cle in the world to fea­ture dig­i­tal mir­rors when it goes into pro­duc­tion in 2020.

Side view: The Audi e‑tron will fea­ture dig­i­tal mir­rors.

The Audi swaps con­ven­tion­al side mir­rors for a set of small cam­eras, one on each side of the vehi­cle. The cam­eras then project the image pre­vi­ous­ly viewed via the mir­rors on to the cor­ner of the door sand­wiched in a prism between the win­dow, door han­dle and the dash.

Viewed through a 7.0‑inch OLED screen the image can be altered depend­ing on the sit­u­a­tion with three set­tings: high­way dri­ving, turn­ing and park­ing.

Users can also alter the field of vision by mov­ing the cam­era and also by zoom­ing in and out.

The Audi e‑tron takes the brand’s dig­i­tal expe­ri­ence to the next lev­el with a ful­ly dig­i­tal dash and dual screens in the cen­tre con­sole where all the car’s func­tions, includ­ing the side cam­era set­tings, are con­trolled.

Dig­i­tal rev­o­lu­tion: The e‑tron will be the first vehi­cle to fea­ture dig­i­tal side mir­rors.

Dig­i­tal mir­rors are not a new con­cept. Sev­er­al mod­els are fit­ted with a dig­i­tal rear-view mir­ror but the world-first dig­i­tal side mir­rors will dras­ti­cal­ly change the appear­ance of future cars and ease the stress of dri­ving down tight streets.

When the Audi goes on sale it will be a gen­uine rival to the Tes­la Mod­el X with a range of more than 400km and the abil­i­ty to charge in 30 min­utes.

The elec­tric SUV mar­ket is set to become very crowd­ed with the Jaguar I‑Pace arriv­ing in Octo­ber this year and Mer­cedes-Ben­z’s EQ C will drop into show­rooms by the end of 2019.

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