Tesla Model X mirror

Of all the concept car technologies, one of our favorites has been the deletion of side-view mirrors in favor of video cameras. Besides improving the look of the car, it'd lower drag and improve fuel economy. However, cost, available technology, and most importantly, the government, stand in the way of this tech making it onto a production model.

It's that last facet that Tesla is seeking to change. As Automotive News explains, when the Model X debuted in concept form, it was without wing mirrors. But when the production car was revealed, it had the conventional mirrors, largely because the camera'd car violated the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Federal Motor Vehicle Safety code (Standard 111, to be precise).

Now comes word that Tesla has actively been lobbying the NHTSA to do away with the standard. It's got breathing room at the moment. We reported a few months ago that the federal mandate regarding backup cameras had been pushed back to 2015. That gives Tesla plenty of time to work the safety administration over regarding the mirror replacement, getting the new tech approved in the next mandate.

While some might scoff at this, there is a precedent for manufacturers influencing this sort of small scale change. As AN points out, Volkswagen hounded the German government to change its legislation in order to ditch the drag-inducing mirrors for video cameras on the ultra-efficient XL1.