Lexus will soon offer a world’s first when the all-new Lexus ES goes on sale in its home market of Japan in October as it ditches the conventional side mirrors for what the luxury car brand calls as Digital Outer Mirrors.
Using small exterior cameras on the front doors where the conventional mirrors are typically mounted, the images captured by the system are displayed on two five-inch display monitors located inside the cabin at the base of the A-pillars.
According to Lexus, numerous advantages are offered by the Digital Outer Mirrors over their conventional counterpart. The design, for one, is that they “are shaped to resist the accumulation of raindrops and snow, leaving the driver’s view unaffected.” In addition, since the cameras have a smaller, slimmer housing than what’s required for actual mirrors, the view outside the front windows has been increased, resulting in improved visibility, while wind noise has been reduced, resulting in a quieter cabin.
Also, since everything is captured and rendered digitally, drivers can adjust the field of vision caught on camera and displayed on the monitor, from standard view to wide-angle format.
As previously mentioned, the Digital Outer Mirrors will be first offered in the all-new Lexus ES when it goes on sale in Japan in October. No word yet on if and when it will be offered in other Lexus models and in other markets outside of Japan.
One thing we know for sure, though: Lexus has quietly beaten one German car brand out of the starting line when it comes to offering cameras as replacement for side mirrors.
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