Lexus unveils world's 1st digital outer mirrors

2019 Lexus ES with Digital Outer Mirror tech

The Japanese government lead the way in 2016 when it adopted rules allowing automakers to use cameras instead of mirrors.

The wing mirrors are replaced with small cameras mounted on the outside of the vehicle, with small screens displaying the feed from these cameras on the inside.

Of course, the Lexus isn't the only auto we've seen lately to use cameras to replace wing mirrors, but the new ES has beaten the Audi E-tron to market by quite a distance.

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Tiny cameras in a thin, rain-proof housing capture footage of what's behind the auto and transfer them to screens mounted in the area where the a-pillar meets the dashboard. The camera system monitors also allow a clearer view of the surrounding area around the auto than a normal mirror allows.

Along with these features, Lexus says the camera lenses are heated and the housings keep raindrops from collecting on them. Each of the monitors are at the base of the front pillars. When one of the turn signals are activated, the system automatically enhances the video display (left or right) to help drivers see out better. If you are excited about ordering an ES with this mirror tech, Lexus says that it will only be available in Japan. A new Digital Outer Mirror option will debut on the Lexus ES in the Japanese market this October, and it uses exterior cameras and screens inside the vehicle to replace the traditional side mirror. And as the cameras cause less drag than mirrors, there's less annoying wind noise too.

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