Don't look back: Lexus launching first digital side view mirrors

Gerald Bowen
September 13, 2018

The technology is called Digital Outer Mirrors, and even though the camera housings replicate the design of traditional mirrors, there's more to this solution than meets the eye. It will be the first mass-produced vehicle in the world to adopt such mirrors, the Japanese automaker said. First and foremost, superior forward visibility is complemented by a reduction in wind noise.

The wing mirrors are replaced with small cameras mounted on the outside of the auto, with small screens displaying the feed from these cameras on the inside.

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Digital screens mounted on the insides of the door provide the driver with a view that can be enhanced at night, and the field of vision can be adjusted as needed. The feed from those cameras is then displayed on small, 5-inch monitors inside the cabin that sit at the base of the front pillars.

The technology will debut in the redesigned ES sedan that goes on sale in October. Whenever the driver uses the car's indicators or engages reverse "the system automatically enhances the corresponding area". Lexus is exploring the possibility of offering the tech for the American market, but a spokesperson couldn't say when it might be available, as timing will depend on federal safety regulations that have yet to be determined. The camera pods are also shaped to resist the accumulation of raindrops, according to Lexus.

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