Zeeland, Michigan-based automatic-dimming rearview mirror maker Gentex has begun shipping a new type of interior automatic dimming rear view mirror for the Volkswagen Passat, Jetta and Golf GTi that is the first to feature intelligent light sensors for detecting rear view mirror glare.

The next-generation ALS technology uses a tiny CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) chip that contains a light sensing element and the additional electronic circuitry necessary to communicate light levels to a microprocessor.

Because the device is similar to a computer chip, it's inexpensive, durable, and easy to manufacture. And, because it's a digital device, it doesn't require external circuitry, such as a signal amplifier or analogue to digital converter, allowing a reduction in circuit board complexity.

The sensor is a derivative of the type used for Gentex's recently announced SmartBeam technology which uses a miniature camera-on-a-chip to monitor surrounding traffic conditions and automate high-beam usage.

The new Gentex auto-dim mirror will be fitted as standard on Mexican-built North American GLX versions of VW's Passat and Jetta and the GTi.

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