In select European markets, Lexus is expanding the availability of one of its newest and most futuristic features. Starting in March, 2020, the ES 300h will have an option for digital side-view cameras and monitors.
Lexus first introduced its side-view cameras and monitors on a production car when it added the tech to the Japanese-market 2019 ES sedan in 2018. Typical side-view mirrors are replaced with camera stalks, which feed video into small five-inch digital displays attached to the front corners of the car's interior.
To ensure an optimum high-definition view at all times, the cameras have numerous weather-proofing features. Built-in heaters prevent freezing, and the aerodynamic design is also shaped so that rain and snow should not affect the quality of the recording. The cameras also have demisters that have their own dashboard switches, as well as a light sensors that help curb headlight glare.
In addition to maintaining quality, the tech has built-in driver aids. When a turn signal is activated, the monitors will automatically show an "extended view" that helps eliminate blind spots. That feature can also be manually activated. Guidelines are also introduced to the monitor when the car is parking or in traffic.
Like normal mirrors, the cameras can be adjusted through controls on the doors. The system has adjustable brightness and the option for automatic camera retraction, too.
As pointed out by CarScoops, the option is already available on the ES 300h Takumi on the United Kingdom Lexus configurator. The total package is priced at roughly $2,000, with each of the cameras and monitors accounting for a quarter of the cost.
Lexus plans to show off the ES 300h with side-view cameras at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show in March, and the option will be available immediately in the U.K., Germany, Spain, and Poland. The rest of Europe will get it before the end of 2020. Meanwhile in the U.S., the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is still testing and debating the safety of the technology.