The green car you see here is the upcoming Lexus ES which will only go on sale beginning late October (probably some time before it comes to Malaysia though). But that’s not the news here, what we want to talk about are those little side mirrors.
Correction: they are not mirrors, as it turns out. The new ES will be the world’s first road car to feature cameras instead of mirrors for, urmm, side mirrors, which then projects the image from it onto displays within the cabin. Lexus calls it Digital Outer Mirrors. *they may have run out of ideas for cleverer names.
The small cameras are fitted on the exterior of the front doors and the image it captures are transmitted onto 5-inch displays fitted at the base of the A-pillars. The cameras are shaped to resist the accumulation of raindrops and snow, giving sharper video images to the driver.
The view to the left, right, and behind are automatically enhanced when the turn signals are activated, or when reverse gear is engaged. Other benefits from the Digital Outer Mirror include better visibility to areas which otherwise would be blocked by a larger, conventional side mirror, and that wind noise is reduced. This in turn contributes to a quieter cabin.
Alas, Lexus says the Digital Outer Mirror will only be available in Japan for the time being.