The 2019 Lexus ES will have optional digital side mirrors when it goes on sale in Japan next month – the first production application of such technology.
The system uses cameras on a narrow stalk where you’d normally find conventional side view mirrors, with two small five-inch screens mounted in either corner of the vehicle’s dashboard displaying what the cameras are seeing. The narrow profile of the side-view cameras ensures the view out of the side of the vehicle is unobstructed and also helps to reduce wind noise over conventional mirrors. The cameras are also specially designed to wick away rain and snow, ensuring the image stays clear in inclement weather.
While this technology will remain exclusive to Japan for now, it’s likely that it will become more commonplace globally in coming years. Lexus appears to be leading the charge in Japan, but Audi has also pledged to bring the technology to market with its forthcoming E-Tron electric crossover. Audi’s system looked a bit more neatly integrated than Lexus’ when it showed a prototype version earlier this year, but the Japanese brand is probably working on a version that looks like less afterthought thought for its future products.
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Lexus hasn’t which of its products may receive the digital side view mirrors next.
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