Audis to get headlights that dip themselvesBut new technology is an optional extra

02 June 2008

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New technology is being introduced on certain Audi cars which will make dipping your headlights a thing of the past.

The SmartBeam high-beam headlamp assist system – dubbed Fernlichtassistent or FLA by Audi -  will be offered on certain models, including the A4 and A5.

It will come as an optional extra in conjunction with Bi-Xenon headlamps.

Miniature camera

SmartBeam uses a miniature, forward-facing camera on the back of the rear-view mirror.

This automatically turns the vehicle's high beams on and off according to traffic conditions. 

The manufacturer Gentex says the system is designed to maximise forward lighting and to eliminate the repetitive task of turning the high beams on and off. 

Auto-dimming mirrors

It will be integrated into Gentex’s auto-dimming mirrors, which also automatically darken to reduce glare from the headlamps of vehicles approaching from the rear.

Gentex senior vice president Enoch Jen said: ‘Research conducted with drivers in Europe and North America shows a very positive response to SmartBeam and we are very pleased that Audi is offering this active safety technology product on several of its best-selling vehicles.’

Which? motoring editor Richard Headland said: 'In principle, we welcome such gadgets, which should help drivers focus their attention on the road ahead and on simply driving the car.

'Anyone who regularly drives on poorly-lit country roads at night will see the benefits of this system.'