World-first technology is limited to Japan for the time being
The seventh-generation Lexus ES will be available with a new exterior camera system, which replaces the traditional set of wing mirrors.
Vision from the cameras is displayed on 5.0-inch screens mounted at the base of the A-pillars. Whenever the driver uses the car’s indicators or engages reverse “the system automatically enhances the corresponding area”.
Although sleeker than the ES’ regular flagpole mirrors, the new camera pods for the digital exterior mirror system are larger and decidedly more conspicuous than the units fitted to almost every new concept car.
Lexus claims the new setup improves the driver’s forward vision and reduces cabin noise, although it has yet to quantify either claim.
The new pods have also been designed to keep rain and snow from accumulating on or in front of the camera lenses. Audi has created a similar system for the e-tron SUV, although its displays are more neatly integrated into the interior.
For the Japanese market, the digital mirrors debut with the new ES in October. According to Lexus, these units are a first on a production car, but “will only be available in Japan”.
“Considerable testing and validation would need to occur before we could consider offering it on local Lexus models,” the company’s Australian arm said in a statement.
“That said, we would be extremely interested in seeing this advanced technology introduced here in the future.”
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