Lexus will start offering Digital Outer Mirrors, and the first vehicle to get it will be the new ES saloon.
The system automatically enhances the corresponding area - left, right or behind - when the turn signals are activated, or when the transmission is put into reverse.
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.
Here in the USA, the technology has yet to be made legal, though vehicles are already being sold with video screens that replace the center rearview mirror. The screens also display the blind-spot warning icon and can give a wider peripheral view than a traditional mirror. In addition, the view of areas around the auto can be manually enhanced by the driver.
Lexus says its new, seventh-generation ES is set to become available in October 2018 (in the Japanese market, at least) with what it describes as the "world's first" digital exterior mirrors. Another advantage is that Digital Outer Mirrors are shaped to resist the accumulation of raindrops and snow.
The system's small cameras result in better forward visibility (no large side mirrors to block the view) and reduction of wind noise.
We're surprised it's taken this long for manufacturers to catch on, but Lexus is finally offering digital wing mirrors as an option for the upcoming ES replacement model.