For years, automakers have teased us with sleek thought automobiles that ditch standard side mirrors in favor of electronic cameras. Now, Lexus gets to be the first automaker to deliver the know-how to showrooms, albeit only in Japan for now: The all-new ES 350 sedan will defeat the Audi E-tron’s “virtual mirrors” to current market by mere months.
Lexus phone calls theirs the Digital Side-See Check: a pair of slender exterior stalks housing digital cameras that beam a higher-definition check out to 5.-inch Lcd screens mounted on either side of the cabin. The principal gain is to save gas by lowering the aerodynamic drag of chunky typical mirrors and damping the wind sounds that’s been a longtime challenge for motor vehicle designers. Lexus claims the cameras and interior screens produce greater visibility in foul weather, with the lenses heated and tucked into housings to ward off raindrops, ice, or snow. Motorists can alter display screen views, or the digicam can mechanically adjust— zooming in when drivers hit their change alerts, or highlighting and alerting to automobiles that loom in blind places.
Now, if only American motorists could get a peek. Even though regulators in Japan and Europe have already authorised the electronic cameras, U.S. restrictions prohibit them.