After questioning the Lexus GS’ NightView system in an earlier post, I received an interesting email from Tomáš in the Czech Republic, who had this to say about its usefulness:
I have a GS 450h, and the hybrid powertrain is SO QUIET that it doesn’t scare away animals – even birds do not leave the side of the road!
This is no problem during the day when you can see them and they might see you, but twice at night, NightView has helped me avoid hitting birds on the road while I was driving in EV mode.
This sort of situation in a GS hybrid is something I didn’t consider.
In my experience using the NightView on rural roads, I’ve only had one encounter with wildlife, and I spotted a raccoon long before I saw it on the display screen — it’s worth mentioning that I have very good eyesight though, and believe that’s the most significant reason why I’m having trouble utilizing the NightView system properly.
Interestingly, Car & Driver just did a comparison on Night Vision systems, and although it doesn’t include the GS, I still think it shows the limits of the technology: