Lexus ES Gets Rearview Cameras To Replace Mirrors, They Look Amazing
The cameras adjust to create a much better view around you, depending on the situation.
Automakers generally introduce cutting-edge new tech at the top of their range and let the features trickle down to less expensive vehicles, but Lexus does the opposite with the first inclusion of rearview cameras to replace traditional mirrors on the lower part of the range on the ES sedan as of October. Unfortunately, regulations around the world mean that this technology is only available in Japan for now.
Lexus calls them simply Digital Outer Mirrors. Skinny stalks emerge from where you'd usually find the mirrors, and the company touts that their smaller size improves outward visibility and lowers wind noise. Square-shaped, five-inch displays on each side of the cabin display the cameras' images.
Adaptability is the advantage of opting for cameras over traditional pieces of glass. When drivers activate the turn signal, the view zooms out for a better look at what's around the vehicle. If the blind-spot monitoring detects a vehicle that the driver can't see, then the appropriate camera adjusts to make it more visible. There are similar tweaks to improve the driver's view when backing up. Owners can also manually adjust things to their preferred perspective.
Driving at night is also potentially safer because image enhancement brightens the picture to let drivers see more than what the standard glass would reflect.
Lexus places the cameras inside small niches, and the company claims that the design resists rain and snow accumulating on the lens. The company's video also suggests that this area is heated as an additional way to prevent cold weather affecting the display.
Other automakers are planning to bring rearview cameras to market. For example, Audi intends to offer them where possible on its upcoming E-Tron electric SUV. In addition, Mercedes-Benz has a system for its Actros semi truck that includes a pair of massive, 15-inch displays inside on each A-pillar. Removing mirrors from the big rig allegedly boosts fuel economy by as much as five percent.