Lexus unveils world's 1st digital outer mirrors

Lexus unveils world's 1st digital outer mirrors

The Digital Outer Mirrors show what is on the left, right and rear of the vehicle, displaying the camera's images on a monitor inside the cabin.

Lexus says its new, seventh-generation ES is set to become available in October 2018 (in the Japanese market, at least) with what it describes as the "world's first" digital exterior mirrors.

The cameras will only be available in Japan initially, and only on the new ES 300h Version L, but Lexus will determine whether to bring them to the US after reviewing the feedback from buyers. The framework has been adopted in July 2016, and Lexus is the first automaker to make use of the ruling in the Land of the Rising Sun. The cameras mounted on the front doors are far smaller and thinner than mirrors, for one thing, which helps improve forward visibility and reduces wind noise at highway speeds. The image visible on the two five-inch screens at the base of each A-pillar can be enhanced to show greater detail and a broader view, either manually by the driver or automatically when the turn signals are activated or the auto is shifted into reverse.

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The new camera-based rearview mirrors on the Japanese-market 2019 Lexus ES 300h.

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.

While these benefits are all fine and dandy, let's just hope they're flexible enough to fold in when absent-mind drivers or pedestrians decide to bump into them.