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Lexus ES gets side cameras in Japan - image 1

Lexus ES gets side cameras in Japan

by Ronan Glon

Lexus has become the first automaker to replace door-mounted mirrors with cameras in Japan.

Lexus has become the first automaker to replace door-mounted mirrors with cameras in a series-produced car. The option will be offered on the new ES exclusively on the Japanese market, where the technology became legal in 2016.

Tiny cameras in a thin, rain-proof housing capture footage of what's behind the car and transfer them to screens mounted in the area where the a-pillar meets the dashboard. It's not the cleanest execution of the technology we've seen but it offers several advantages over conventional mirrors, according to Lexus.

Notably, the cameras switch to a wider view when the driver activates one of the turn signals in order to show what's in the blind spot. Replacing the mirrors with smaller, thinner devices makes the ES more aerodynamic while reducing wind noise at high speeds.

The cameras will be available at an extra cost when the Lexus ES goes on sale in Japan in October. Pricing information hasn't been released yet. Lexus hasn't confirmed plans to roll out the technology to its other models but it's reasonable to assume this isn't the last time we're hearing about it.

There's no word on when lawmakers will allow the technology in the United States. The e-tron Audi will introduce on September 17th will offer cameras instead of mirrors in select markets, including Germany, but Audi confirmed the technology won't be available in the United States for legal reasons.

Lexus ES gets side cameras in Japan - image 2 Lexus ES gets side cameras in Japan - image 3