Lexus wants drivers to see better with digital side mirrors

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

Essentially, the side mirrors are cameras, and the live feed is displayed on left and right screens inside the cabin.

The technology will debut in the redesigned ES sedan that goes on sale in October. In 2016, technology supplier Ichikoh Industries forecasted that by 2023, 29 percent of the Japanese market would have cameras and monitors in place of regular mirrors, about 2.3 million vehicles. Lexus claims that they provide better views of the car's surrounding even at night and in inclement weather. And all it took was a little tinkering with the two mirrors popping out from the sides-by removing them completely and replacing them with digital cameras. From its namesake, it replaces the mirrors for small exterior cameras that will provide drivers a clearer view of the vehicle's surroundings.

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Mirrorless cars may also have an improved fuel economy due to the lower drag of the slim camera housing; wind noise and visibility will also be improved. 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. Whenever the driver uses the car's indicators or engages reverse "the system automatically enhances the corresponding area". The new setup's shape is created to resist the accumulation of such elements, Lexus says, meaning you'll never have to get your sleeves or interior trim wet to wipe off rainwater. Digital Outer Mirrors is an extension of the full display mirror (FDM) digital rear view mirror that Lexus and Toyota already offer.

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