Lexus ES gets side cameras in Japan

Lexus ES gets side cameras in Japan

It will be the first mass-produced vehicle to get cameras and screens as wing mirrors - Volkswagen only made 250 units of the XL1 fuel economy special, and the Audi e-tron isn't out yet.

The Digital Outer Mirrors show what is on the left, right and rear of the vehicle, displaying the camera's images on a monitor inside the cabin.

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 nearly every new concept auto.

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. Come next month, Lexus will officially launch the "Digital Side-View Monitors" for the all-new ES. 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.

The technology is called Digital Outer Mirrors, and even though the camera housings replicate the design of traditional mirrors, there's more to this solution than meets the eye.

- The camera will display the images on a monitor inside the cabin placed at the bottom of the A-pillar. When one of the turn signals are activated, the system automatically enhances the video display (left or right) to help drivers see out better. Wind noise has also been reduced, resulting in a quieter cabin.