Exploring the Technology Behind Auto-dimming Rearview Mirrors

Our car experts at GILLMAN MITSUBISHI welcome the opportunity to help San Antonio drivers learn about the features of their cars. Auto-dimming rearview mirrors gained popularity in the 1980s and are found in most automobiles. Let's learn how they work below.

Auto-dimming rearview mirrors reduce glare that's caused by the headlights of the vehicle behind you. Glare from a trailing vehicle's headlights can delay a driver's reaction time by up to 1.4 seconds. At 60 mph, a vehicle will move more than 123 feet in 1.4 seconds. Auto-dimming mirrors darken the mirror through a process known as electrochromism.

Most auto-dimming rearview mirrors have sensors that are cameras or photodetectors. These sensors and a microprocessor detect for glare and will send a charge to an electrochromic gel that's between the two layers of glass of the mirror. Once the gel has received the charge, it will darken via oxidation-reduction reactions, which will reduce how much light hits the driver's face.



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