Gentex to supply vision-based SmartBeam DFL for 2012 BMW 3-Series

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 14, 2012

Gentex Corporation will be supplying its SmartBeam DFL (Dynamic Forward Lighting) -- its new vision-based, glare-free, high-beam system -- for the 2012 BMW 3 Series, which is available throughout Europe. Gentex is the leading worldwide supplier in camera-based lighting-assist and automatic-dimming rearview mirrors systems for the international automotive industry.

The system has a custom CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) image sensor integrated with algorithmic decision-making to provide constant "on" glare-free high beams. The system senses the presence of other tail lamps and headlamps, then generates dynamic "block-out" zones around automobiles that it is moving toward or following.  Special shutter-equipped headlamps block parts of the high beams to avert blinding surrounding traffic as it continuously optimizes the forward lighting.

In 2001, Gentex created the lighting-assist product category when it launched its original SmartBeam product, marking the first usage of a camera system to maximize forward lighting by automatically shifting between low and high beams based on surrounding lighting conditions and traffic. The SmartBeam is one of the most popular offerings of Gentex, thanks to consumer demand. Since 2004, the company has delivered almost 3 million units. In 2011 alone, it hit the 1 million mark in terms of deliveries.

Gentex presently anticipates deliveries of the SmartBeam units to increase by around 40% to 45% in calendar year 2012. The SmartBeam is incorporated into a Gentex automatic-dimming rearview mirror while the CMOS camera and other associated electronics are integrated into the mirror mount, which is attached to the windscreen.

The camera "floats" off the glass, removing the angle of the windscreen as a variable as well as the mirror assembly functions across automobile platforms. In addition, this layout delivers a massive array of high-end styling opportunities not available with other systems that need a separate box attached directly to the windscreen.

Topics: bmw, bmw 3-series

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