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Gentex SmartBeam headlamp assist offered on BMW X3

16th December 2010 Print

Gentex Corporation, the US-based manufacturer of automatic-dimming rearview mirrors and camera-based active-safety systems for the automotive industry, has announced that it is supplying auto-dimming mirrors with advanced electronic features, including the company's proprietary SmartBeam High-Beam Headlamp Assist system, for the 2011 BMW X3 sports activity vehicle (SAV).  BMW refers to SmartBeam as High-Beam Assist, or the German translation, Fernlichtassistent.

The X3 is available in global markets and SmartBeam is available as an option in Europe, North America and Asia.  In addition to offering an auto-dimming three-mirror system, other features, including a universal garage door opener, will be available in the US and Europe as part of premium packages.

Gentex has been shipping its SmartBeam feature to various carmakers since 2004, and more than a million of the company's camera systems are in operation on vehicles throughout Europe and North America.

"BMW is a long-time Gentex customer and has been a leader in the adoption of SmartBeam.  The X3 is the most recent BMW vehicle to add SmartBeam to its list of optional equipment," said Gentex senior vice president Enoch Jen, "and SmartBeam is now offered on 11 BMW models, including the 1, 3, 5, 6 and 7 Series, the X1, X3, X5 and X6, and the Z4 and 5 Series GT.  This strong representation by BMW is indicative of the strong market interest in the SmartBeam feature."

SmartBeam uses a miniature camera-on-a-chip combined with algorithmic decision-making to automatically operate a vehicle's high beams and optimise their usage according to surrounding traffic conditions.  The system maximises forward lighting while eliminating the repetitive task of turning the high beams on and off manually.  SmartBeam is integrated into a Gentex auto-dimming mirror, which automatically darkens to eliminate glare from the headlamps of vehicles approaching from the rear.