Everyone knows that texting and driving is dangerous and illegal in most places. People still do it, though. To demonstrate why texting behind the wheel is something you should never do, Lexus built a special NX with an electrochromic covering over the glass that can become opaque.
Lexus set up the electrochromic covering to block out the driver’s outward view for 4.6 seconds, which is the average time it takes to reply to a text while behind the wheel. The company then unleashed drivers on a closed course with obstacles so that they were able to experience the danger of not paying attention to the road.
The results are shocking. To really get the point across, Lexus has an obstacle move in front of the vehicle when the windows become opaque. Lexus’ stunt demonstrates how not paying attention to the road can result in tragedy not just for the driver but also for other people.
While 4.6 seconds might not seem like a very long time, at 70 miles per hour, you would cover 472 feet without looking at the road. To put that number in perspective a football field, including the end zones measures 360 feet.
While it’s not a substitute for paying attention to the road, the NX comes standard with the Lexus Safety System+ 2.0 suite of tech in case things go wrong. It includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, road sign detection, adaptive cruise control, adaptive high beams, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.
A new generation of the NX (above) is due for the 2022 model year, and there are already leaked images of it. The design has a similar look in front, except for integrating the daytime running lights into the main lamps. At the back, there are full-width taillights. A heavily modified interior includes a large infotainment screen that no longer has the often-criticized touchpad controls from the current model. The powertrain range will include hybrid and plug-in hybrid choices.