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.
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 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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