The side mirrors that all cars use today are replaced on the ES with side stalks with video cameras in them. The camera system monitors also allow a clearer view of the surrounding area around the vehicle than a normal mirror allows.
With Lexus's "Digital Outer Mirrors", the typical glass mirror pods are replaced by rear-facing digital cameras.
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Lexus calls the system Digital Side-View Monitors and the images each camera captures are beamed to 5-inch display monitors located inside the cabin.
The new ES will become the first mirrorless production vehicle when it goes on sale this October. The cameras automatically shift their focus to the appropriate area when the driver activates their turn signals or puts the auto in reverse. Lexus claims that they provide better views of the car's surrounding even at night and in inclement weather.
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Lexus has become the first automaker to replace door-mounted mirrors with cameras in a series-produced auto. At this time, the Digital Outer Mirrors will only be available in Japan. Lexus has also "enhanced" the view for the driver when the indicators are activated to provide better rearward vision when reversing.
Mirrorless cars may also have an improved fuel economy due to the lower drag of the slim camera housing; wind noise and visibility will also be improved.
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- The camera will display the images on a monitor inside the cabin placed at the bottom of the A-pillar.