krew

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Lexus is bringing their digital side-view monitor technology to Europe as an option for the ES 300h sedan. The system replaces the standard side mirrors with high-resolution cameras linked to in-car monitors.

The tech was introduced first in Japan two years ago, and it was a world-first for digital mirrors in a high-volume production car. It provides an enhanced view compared to traditional mirrors, reducing and eliminating the driver’s blind spots.

The Digital Side-View Monitor option will be available in the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain and Poland starting in March...
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The important thing is that this system works very well in case of rain. In fact, now traditional side mirrors when it rains are practically useless.
 

Will1991

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This seems to be an afterthought... Good ideia but an less than ideal execution...

Audi E-Tron has a much nicer application:


Even Honda e has previously stated:



Lexus Portugal also stated this will come during 2020, but Lexus could have done it a lot better...

A side view camera, in my opinion, was one of the last things Lexus actually needed right now...
 

Sulu

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The Lexus ES' digital side-view mirror is obviously an afterthought, not engineered in to the ES during the car's design stage but added afterward.

The Audi e-tron's digital side-view mirror, on the other hand, was engineered into the car during design so that the left- and right-side display monitors are built in to the door panels. But they seem a bit low, requiring a dip of the head to check the side views.

The Honda e's digital side-view mirror was also obviously engineered into the car during design. It would take some time for me to get used to them, though; I find light-coloured moving images in my narrow peripheral vision to be distracting. I do not like to drive with my ES' central display in moving map mode because I find the constantly changing image to be distracting.

I wonder if any automaker will place the side-view monitors up at the top of the windshield, at the height of the central rear-view mirror?
 

Sulu

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This seems to be an afterthought... Good ideia but an less than ideal execution...

Audi E-Tron has a much nicer application:
I sat in an Audi e-tron at the Toronto Autoshow today, obviously one without the digital side-view mirrors, since this technology is still not legal in the USA (and Canada, I assume, since Canadian automotive regulations closely match American ones).

There is a portion of the upper front door panel -- a cutout -- shaped exactly like that digital side-view mirror display screen (that odd trapezoidal shape), so the interior design was obviously engineered to include a place for digital side-view mirror displays. The displays are not as low as it seems from the photograph but it is still a little low for my tastes, requiring an obvious head-dip to check (especially the close driver's side display).
 

Will1991

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First review is here from AutoExpress, and besides being clearly an afterthought, I agree with them:



"Lexus’s digital wing mirrors add expense to its top-spec ES Takumi model, yet the tech is flawed for a few reasons. (...) It’s disappointing that the brand has added unnecessary tech with its wing mirrors rather than addressing the car’s weak infotainment system, which could definitely do with an update."



"We’ll cut to the chase, at that price the technology isn’t good enough and doesn’t add sufficient extra usability to warrant the increased spend. In fact, the digital wing mirrors are actually less useful than the standard car’s mirrors.
That’s because the resolution of the picture displayed on the screens – one mounted on the passenger side A-pillar, the other mounted close to you on the driver’s side windscreen pillar – isn’t clear enough.
Add to that the fact there’s too much lag between what the digital cameras ‘see’ and how quickly this is displayed on the screen and it’s hard to say that you always know where other cars are around you on a dual-carriageway or motorway."

Source: https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/road-tests/353041/lexus-es-takumi-2020-review

This Lexus ES is such an elegant car, just look at it:



This is now the new Lexus model I see more often here in Portugal, such a delight to see!
The only thing missing is a PHEV powertrain...
 

Rydo

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Absolutely bloody awful. Why they actually went through with this option when it's so embarrassingly bad is beyond me. The Honda E as stated is perfect - the little bulbs on the doors are much smaller than conventional mirrors, and the interior positioning and quality of the image shown is perfect.

This is just junk to try and have some kind world-first gimmick.
 

Sulu

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Absolutely bloody awful. Why they actually went through with this option when it's so embarrassingly bad is beyond me. The Honda E as stated is perfect - the little bulbs on the doors are much smaller than conventional mirrors, and the interior positioning and quality of the image shown is perfect.

This is just junk to try and have some kind world-first gimmick.
The digital side mirrors is a new technology so you cannot expect it to be perfect. But just like any other highly-engineered product, it will improve. Resolution will improve, as will the lag; the position of the mirror displays will also be better placed. Just look at the central infotainment display: Its resolution is still improving, as is the speed, and positioning of the display -- I believe -- still has not been settled.

As a brand-new product, there will be some who will wait until the technology of the digital side mirror has matured but there are others -- the Innovators and Early Adopters -- who are more than willing to try out new products, effectively acting as guinea pigs, and helping to improve the product.

Others (myself included) can appreciate the new technology but are risk averse and would prefer to wait until the technology has matured some before trying it.

Looking back, if these early believers did not believe in, and were not willing to try out new products, would we have the latest generations of Toyota Hybrid System vehicles and Tesla electric vehicles?
 

Rydo

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The digital side mirrors is a new technology so you cannot expect it to be perfect. But just like any other highly-engineered product, it will improve. Resolution will improve, as will the lag; the position of the mirror displays will also be better placed. Just look at the central infotainment display: Its resolution is still improving, as is the speed, and positioning of the display -- I believe -- still has not been settled.

As a brand-new product, there will be some who will wait until the technology of the digital side mirror has matured but there are others -- the Innovators and Early Adopters -- who are more than willing to try out new products, effectively acting as guinea pigs, and helping to improve the product.

Others (myself included) can appreciate the new technology but are risk averse and would prefer to wait until the technology has matured some before trying it.

Looking back, if these early believers did not believe in, and were not willing to try out new products, would we have the latest generations of Toyota Hybrid System vehicles and Tesla electric vehicles?
All the things you say we will see in the future are already the case in the Honda E, so it's more a case of Lexus just having terrible implementation of this technology. Just like their backup cameras still look like webcams from 2005.
 

Will1991

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It's just a gimmick IMO, but it seems easy to work with!


I really think this should have appeared in the new GS, considering 2021 Mirai (rumored to be the next GS) has the proper space to have the screens near the cluster.

Just look for the air vent, almost non-compliant with the rest of the well done interior design:


Considering the LF-1 concept interior uses that place for the side view cameras:


I guess Toyota just had the system ready and decided.... Well, let's put it on the ES.
 

mediumhot

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Every manufacturer that uses left and right screens for camera side mirrors does it wrong :)
 

Sulu

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Every manufacturer that uses left and right screens for camera side mirrors does it wrong :)
Just curious... How would you do it? Where would you put those digital mirror screens?

Just some personal background... I have very good (wide) peripheral vision and would find a constantly-changing stream of information from a display screen that is in my narrow peripheral field of view to be very distracting. If I keep the nav-system moving map up on the central screen of my ES, I find it distracting. I would find those left and right digital mirror screens on the LF-1 distracting (especially on a busy highway with constantly changing traffic). The driver's-side side mirror mounted on the door (or A-pillar) is just far enough away that I do not find it distracting.

And I am not a fan of placing these information screens too low so that I would have to dip my head and change focus to see and use them. So the screens in the door panels that the Audi e-Tron uses may be too low for my liking.
 

Ian Schmidt

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All the things you say we will see in the future are already the case in the Honda E, so it's more a case of Lexus just having terrible implementation of this technology. Just like their backup cameras still look like webcams from 2005.
The panorama cameras on the newer models (I think first on the 5LS?) are quite good.

Nobody's done digital side mirrors correctly yet, and I'm not convinced they *can* be done right for the reasons @Sulu cites. This might be a case where designers have to eat the fact that good old analog mirrors do it best.
 

Sulu

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As above, Honda E.
Obviously, I have not sat in the Honda E (seeing that it won't be sold in North America), but looking at the photos of the display monitor-filled dashboard and matching it with my comments above, I don't think that I will like it.

From the photos that I have seen, the driver-side digital side mirror display is too close to the driver's instrument display, in my narrow peripheral field of view; I would find that constantly changing video stream very distracting..

And the wall-to-wall bright colour display monitors would be overwhelmingly distracting to me. No thanks!

(Pictures courtesy of NetCarShow.com)Honda-e-2021-800-2f.jpgHonda-e-2021-800-30.jpg
 

Rydo

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And the wall-to-wall bright colour display monitors would be overwhelmingly distracting to me. No thanks!
Those aren't what we are talking about though - what is between the wing mirror displays is obviously changeable.

The placement of the wing mirror displays has been commented on as perfect by Fully Charged when they reviewed the E - comparing it to the Audi placement down on the door cards and pointing out the awkward ness of that setup.

The only way it could be better is if they used OLED displays that can follow unconventional shapes and therefore don't need to be rectangular. Think the current iPhone lineup with it's rounded corners and notch - a display like that could obviously work into an interior trim piece a lot more smartly than two rectangles.

What is clear is that the E is by far the best implementation of the wing mirrors so far - small aerodynamic attractive housings on the outside and displays in the ideal location that don't look like an afterthought.

Lexus' is almost like a joke with how bad it looks - apparently larger than regular wing mirrors on the outside and like having two GPS TomToms hanging from the A-pillars.
 

Ian Schmidt

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Honda e is ridiculous. It's like they designed the thing to cause distracted driving. And you have to look over to the far left/right for the passenger "mirror", at which point you might as well just have real mirrors.

I think the correct version of this would be some kind of HUD, although that has its own problems.
 

Levi

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As some said above, ergonomics of camera side view is a work in progress. It could not progress without finally hitting production. It is a tech I accept.

I expect these camera mirrors in future to get some 'AI' tha will synthesize the images and make them more distinctive and easy to read/feel, like for example color cars to be better noticed, with warning/blinking when approaching dead spot (which will no more be) ect..
 
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