2013 Lexus GS 350: Mystery Box
September 10, 2012
Alright, what's that thing on top of the steering column? I had my own suspicions, as did some of my colleagues. Is it a secondary set of warning lights? A driver alertness sensor?
When I shot this photo in the parking garage, I pretty much knew it was a driver alertness sensor. With two very bright infrared emitters, I couldn't think of any other possibility.
My contact at Lexus confirmed this. According to her:
"That's the infrared camera of the Driver Attention Monitor option. It scans the driver's eyes to see if they're open or looking away from the road. If the driver is not looking forward and a collision appears imminent, the system will beep at you. If you don't react, the system will apply the brakes 1.2 seconds prior to impact to help lessen the severity of the collision."
There. Mystery solved. Were your guesses right?
Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 2,140 miles