Lexus has just announced its program for the next Geneva Motor Show 2020, which will take place from March 5 to 15. One of its great innovations on the Swiss meeting will be the presentation of a new technology: the digital exterior mirrors, more commonly known as rear cameras.
Already offered by Lexus in Japan, this innovation, supposed to improve safety, driving comfort and aerodynamics, is now arriving in the European range of the Japanese manufacturer.
"This device replaces traditional mirrors outside the car with high-definition cameras. These transmit the images to screens (5 inches, Editor's note) positioned in the passenger compartment on the windscreen pillars." , explains the Japanese manufacturer. Before adding: "This configuration allows the driver to benefit from increased rear view, avoid blind spots and improve his vision during maneuvers."
Optimal vision, especially at night
These cameras are equipped with a defrosting system and positioned to reduce their exposure to dust and rain. Exclusive to Lexus, they can also be retracted when parking. They are also fitted with anti-glare sensors which automatically dim the headlights of the cars in front so that the driver can keep an optimal view of his surroundings at night.
On the markets of the Old Continent, they settle first on the ES 300h (photo). And on the French market, they will be more specifically available on the "Executive" finish of the premium hybrid sedan by the end of 2020.
Audi and Honda also adopted retro-cameras
Inducted in 2018 in Japan on the Lexus ES 300h, which was therefore the first mass-produced car to benefit from it, retro-cameras are increasingly popular with car manufacturers. Recently, Audi and Honda in particular succumbed to it.
Within the German manufacturer, this technology is indeed called "Virtual Mirror" and offered as an option (1850 €) on the e-tron and the e-tron Sportback.
On the other hand, on the side of the Japanese brand, it is available as standard on the new Honda e 100% electric (see its test in video).
Cameras in real mirrors
At CES 2020 in Las Vegas, Aston Martin presented him, with the company Gentex, another approach to retro-cameras. The DBS Superleggera which then served as a demonstrator was indeed fitted with exterior mirrors which, behind their classic appearance, housed a small camera. A third device was also on the roof, pointed towards the rear, and all the filmed images were retransmitted on the central interior mirror.