Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is considered by many to be a major disrupter of the automotive industry, and one of the latest ways the company is doing this is by getting rid of side view mirrors. However, regulations may stand in the way of this effort.
Side view mirrors are a drag
John Voelcker of Green Car Reports says side mirrors are to blame for about 3 to 6 percent of any vehicle’s aerodynamic drag. Tesla is now attempting to replace those side mirrors with cameras to reduce drag on its vehicles.
Model S designer Franz von Holzhausen spoke with Fresh Dialogues’ Alison van Diggelen, mentioning a number of regulations that have a very real effect on the innovations that can be done within vehicle design. He also mentioned that they are working with officials to see if those regulations can be changed.
The original design of the Model X did not feature side wing mirrors, according to Automotive News. However, when the production model was unveiled, it did have side mirrors because the side cameras were in violation of regulations set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is now lobbying the agency in an attempt to get those regulations changed.
National Geographic put together a recent documentary about Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s mega-factory. It provides a very interesting behind the scenes look at the building process for the Model S. The automaker’s goal is to completely revolutionize the auto industry, and its factory is certainly a major indication of its goal. The factory is extremely clean, and employees are provided with bicycles to get around. It uses self-guided smart cars and efficient robots to build Tesla’s Model S sedans.
Those robots actually need to be “taught” how to do tasks before it can do them. Each robot is carefully programmed in order to be able to do its job. The documentary is certainly interesting and worth checking out. It’s been embedded below.