Aerodynamics--side mirrors & door handles
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Thread: Aerodynamics--side mirrors & door handles

  1. #1

    Default Aerodynamics--side mirrors & door handles

    GM has refined the Volt in the wind tunnel to increase efficiency at highway speeds. All of the renderings so far still show side mirrors, which act like air brakes. Given that the wholesale cost & miniscule size of low-lux, waterproof cameras and simple LCD screens are <$100 each, I can't see why we still need to have more expensive, conventional motorized mirror systems. Split left/right mirror images can be presented in a LCD screen mounted at the top of the dash (like a Lincoln MKS). When reversing, the center rear camera would replace the left/right split view. The cameras can be located at the top trailing edge of the front wheel flare or gill vents to minimize drag. An optional upgrade could use software to merge the view of the rear center camera like the Infiniti EX35 to provide a seamless, 180 degree rear view. This screen would be dedicated for cameras only. A separate lower screen could show electrical system status and an optional touch screen upgrade could be used for entertainment upgrades.
    We could also eliminate door handles, like the CTS coupe concept. If the solenoid buttons are too expensive, GM could put "D" shaped pulls within the cutaway.
    Isn't it interesting that the most aerodynamic EV, the Aptera, already has these two features?

  2. Default

    As long as the cameras provide a mirror image. There's probably a DOT regulation and various state regulations requiring mirrors of some sort.

  3. #3

    Default

    There are regulations on mirrors. Not only here but over seas and they have said they want to sell this car all over the place. Mirrors are the cheapest, most reliable, highest resolution monitors you're ever going to find. Simply by moving my head, I can get alternate views, tougher to do with cameras. Yeah, there's drag involved but probably not all that much because they're pretty small and their placement is where the slipstream has already separated by the windshield, so their cross section is only partially causing much drag.

    As to the door handles, we don't really know what they'll be like until we see the production concept. However, traditional door handles are cheap, reliable and create almost no drag, so I don't expect see any high tech solutions here. They do need to keep costs down. I am hoping for something kind of stylish though.
    "Beer, the cause of and solution to, all of life's problems." -Homer Simpson

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  5. #4
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    An extra $200 to GM is an extra $1,000 for us. If this were a Cadillac Volt, I would be all for it.

  6. #5
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    I think that everyone, GM included, is fretting far too much over high speed aerodynamics for the volt. Given the fact that it's electric-only range is limited to 40 miles, and given that most people who drive 40 miles a day are commuting to work, a large percentage of that driving will be city stop-and-go miles. Aerodynamics will make almost zero difference in the city environment. On those occasions when the Volt actually gets out on the freeway for longer drives the range extender will be kicking in anyway. So rather than spend months trying to get a couple of tenths off the drag coefficient, let the designers give us a little style in it's place.

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DaV8or View Post
    There are regulations on mirrors. Not only here but over seas and they have said they want to sell this car all over the place. Mirrors are the cheapest, most reliable, highest resolution monitors you're ever going to find. Simply by moving my head, I can get alternate views, tougher to do with cameras. Yeah, there's drag involved but probably not all that much because they're pretty small and their placement is where the slipstream has already separated by the windshield, so their cross section is only partially causing much drag.

    As to the door handles, we don't really know what they'll be like until we see the production concept. However, traditional door handles are cheap, reliable and create almost no drag, so I don't expect see any high tech solutions here. They do need to keep costs down. I am hoping for something kind of stylish though.
    Side view mirrors are known to be massive sources of air drag. In some cases, side view mirrors reduce fuel economy by 1 mpg each. Take it from me, I worked in the field of car design.


  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bellaggio1770 View Post
    Side view mirrors are known to be massive sources of air drag. In some cases, side view mirrors reduce fuel economy by 1 mpg each. Take it from me, I worked in the field of car design.

    Considering the 'very bulky" design on the concept, how can anyone worry about the aerodynamics of side mirrors? Hopefully GM does major streamlining of this vehicle to make it more acceptable to a much larger cross section of people.
    Last edited by EV51; 06-29-2008 at 03:23 PM.

  9. #8

    Default aero

    When reversing, the center rear camera would replace the left/right split view.
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    tom
    Addiction Recovery Colorado

  10. #9

    Default not safe for me

    I judge the distance of cars by using my stereoscopic vision and the ability to move my head around I would lose that with cameras.

    I really like the idea of cameras TOO, but mirrors are a must for me. It is worth the aerodynamic cost to me.

    As for the statement above about commuters doing predominately stop and go/ low speed. Ummmm...I'm going to have to disagree with that statement. Even my wife who only "commutes" 6 miles to work uses the highway for 5 of those instead of taking the 5 mile "in the city" commute. When you are working 8-9 hours after you get to work, you really want minimize your travel time to and from (even at the expense of energy).
    Last edited by nlh_90210; 07-02-2008 at 10:41 PM.

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  12. #10
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    Chevy already makes a car without door handles, it is called he Corvette. The door release operates with a hidden pressure sensitive sensor the will only open if the key fob transmitter in near the car.

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