Side mirrors in 2019 Lexus ES sedan can be replaced with camera-based Digital Outer Mirrors

Article by Christian A., on September 17, 2018

Using cameras to replace the rear and side mirrors isn't something new. However, this technology is usually found on concept vehicles and some exotic cars. But at Lexus, this technology will be installed on one of its premium sedans starting October this year.

Lexus is introducing the world' first Digital Outer Mirrors, which will initially be fitted on the new 2019 Lexus ES. Digital Outer Mirrors make use of small exterior cameras on the front doors. They are mounted on stalks that swell on the place where conventional side mirrors are usually found.

The cameras send images onto displays – each monitor measuring five inches diagonally– inside the cabin, as positioned at the base of the front pillars. Instead of looking through the windows onto the side mirrors, a driver just have to view the images on the displays. This means that the driver’s view of the sides and the rear of the cars aren’t compromised when the windows are dirty or hazy.

Depending on where the turn signals are directed when activated, Lexus’ Digital Outer Mirrors would automatically enhance the corresponding area. If the turn signal points to the left, the view of area on this side of the car is automatically enhanced. The same thing happens when the turn signal is directed to the right. Moreover, when the transmission is put into reverse, the Digital Outer Mirrors will enhance the view to the rear.

In addition, the driver of the Lexus ES can manually enhance the view of areas around the car for the sake of getting complete peripheral awareness of the surrounding areas.

These Digital Outer Mirrors are shaped in a way that raindrops and snow won't accumulate, which means that the view of the driver is never compromised. Likewise, there won't be any side mirror that may blow the front windows, thereby providing better levels of visibility.

Aside from offering better views of the surroundings, the Digital Outer Mirrors boasts of a wind-cheating shape, resulting to reduced levels of wind noise and a quieter cabin.

According to Lexus, the Digital Outer Mirrors will only be available in the Lexus ES in the Japanese market starting late October. The reason for Japan-only availability is that regulations in the country allow for such technology, whereas in other countries, there could be legal problems with this new tech.

Lexus could be the first carmaker to offer exterior cameras on mass-produced vehicles, but it won't be alone in a long time. Audi is already planning to offer rearview cameras on the upcoming E-Tron Quattro electric SUV. Mercedes-Benz’s Actros heavy-truck has also gotten rid of side mirrors, replacing them with cameras.

Press Release

Lexus Digital Outer Mirror Debuts on the New ES This October

Lexus will offer the world's first* Digital Outer Mirrors to be equipped on a mass-produced vehicle.
The Digital Outer Mirrors show what is on the left, right and rear of the car, displaying the camera's images on a monitor inside the cabin. They provide enhanced views of the area around the car at night and in inclement weather.
The Digital Outer Mirrors offer an expanded view of the car's surrounding by augmenting the display area during turns or when backing up.
The system's small cameras result in better forward visibility (no large side mirrors to block the view) and reduction of wind noise.

Lexus ES (prototype)
TOKYO, Japan (September 12, 2018)―Lexus announces its introduction of the world' first Digital Outer Mirrors on the new ES.

By installing small exterior cameras on the front doors, Lexus vehicles will provide its drivers with a clearer view of the vehicle's surrounding area. The cameras in the Digital Outer Mirrors transmit the images onto 5-inch display monitors located inside the cabin at the base of the front pillars. Another advantage the Digital Outer Mirrors have over their conventional counterparts is that they are shaped to resist the accumulation of raindrops and snow, leaving the driver's view unaffected.

The system automatically enhances the corresponding area―left, right or behind―when the turn signals are activated, or when the transmission is put into reverse. The view of areas around the car can be manually enhanced by the driver to obtain complete peripheral awareness of the area around the vehicle. By replacing the vehicle's conventional side mirrors with small cameras, side mirrors no longer block the view outside the front windows, resulting in improved visibility. Wind noise has also been reduced, resulting in a quieter cabin.

The digital mirrors will make their debut on the new ES, which will go on sale in late October. At this time, the Digital Outer Mirrors will only be available in Japan.
*Based on Sept 2018 Lexus research

Source: Lexus

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