Lexus to Debut World’s First Digital Outer Mirrors in October
Available only in Japan, high-tech mirrors offer expanded view by augmenting display area during turns or when backing up.
Lexus has announced its introduction of the world’ first Digital Outer Mirrors on the new ES. This is awesome news, of course, but there is an unwelcome footnote: At this time, the Digital Outer Mirrors will only be available in Japan.
“By installing small exterior cameras on the front doors, Lexus vehicles will provide its drivers with a clearer view of the vehicle’s surrounding area,” promises Lexus in a press statement. The cameras in the Digital Outer Mirrors transmit the images onto five-inch display monitors located inside the cabin at the base of the front pillars. Another advantage the Digital Outer Mirrors have over their conventional counterparts is that they are shaped to resist the accumulation of raindrops and snow, leaving the driver’s view unaffected.
The system automatically enhances the corresponding area―left, right or behind―when the turn signals are activated, or when the transmission is put into reverse. The view of areas around the car can be manually enhanced by the driver to obtain complete peripheral awareness of the area around the vehicle. By replacing the vehicle’s conventional side mirrors with small cameras, side mirrors no longer block the view outside the front windows, resulting in improved visibility. Wind noise has also been reduced, resulting in a quieter cabin.
The digital mirrors will make their debut on the new ES, which will go on sale in late October.