The technology is called Digital Outer Mirrors, and even though the camera housings replicate the design of traditional mirrors, there's more to this solution than meets the eye. The cameras automatically shift their focus to the appropriate area when the driver activates their turn signals or puts the vehicle in reverse.
Here in the US, the technology has yet to be made legal, though vehicles are already being sold with video screens that replace the center rearview mirror.More news: Russian Federation launches biggest ever war games involving China
Essentially, the side mirrors are cameras, and the live feed is displayed on left and right screens inside the cabin. They provide enhanced views of the area around the vehicle at night and in inclement weather.
There are various benefits to doing this, from better peripheral vision and better field of view, to reduced wind noise and better aerodynamics.More news: Trump says Puerto storm response ‘unappreciated’
The digital mirrors will make their debut on the new ES, which will go on sale in late October.
According to Lexus, they also give the driver an expanded view of the car's surrounding area by augmenting the display during cornering or reversing. Lexus is exploring the possibility of offering the tech for the American market, but a spokesperson couldn't say when it might be available, as timing will depend on federal safety regulations that have yet to be determined.More news: Putin Proposes Peace Treaty With Japan Before Year's End