In the technology race, you want to be the first to bring something to market, but only if it’s going to work. The Lexus Digital Outer Mirrors appear to be doing just that. Digital side mirrors have been a quest for automakers for a while, so for Lexus, a brand that is known more for its luxury than its technology, to be the first is saying something.
The mirrors are essentially cameras in a housing where the side view mirrors typically are. The digital mirrors have a sleeker and thinner profile, and are designed to keep the elements (snow and rain) off of the camera. The smaller profile increases your view, but also decreases wind noise. The cameras transmit their images to two five-inch display screens that are placed just inside the car on the dash. The cameras offer a lot of advantages over the traditional glass mirrors. When the turn signal is activated, the camera adjusts its zoom to provide a better view of what’s outside the vehicle. Coupled with blind-spot monitoring, the camera can adjust to show the driver what is alongside the car. Night-time driving will also be safer as the camera can use brightness enhancements to improve the view. The driver can also adjust the camera’s view to meet their preferred perspective.
Other automakers are planning their own digital sideview and rearview cameras, but Lexus got there first.