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What's the sensor in the rear view mirror?

What's the sensor in the rear view mirror?

Am starting to examine the car a bit more closely. The rain sensor is documented in the manual and can be seen in this picture:

Rain sensor

A bit puzzling because there seems to be more than one sensor built in.

But there's also something built into the back of the mirror. It can't be the auto dimmer because that should be in the mirror face to see headlights behind the car. So that's this front facing sensor? A camera?

Mirror

mkh1437 | January 6, 2013

I was going to posit that it might be a sensor to automatically dim the brights when it senses oncoming traffic... But I don't think the car does that. Perhaps future functionality?

Sudre_ | January 6, 2013

It might be a light sensor for auto adjusting the brightness of the 17" display.

Maybe it's a CIA camera.... they are on to you!

BYT | January 6, 2013

I asked the TM guys before I took delivery of the car last summer. One sensor is the rain sensor for the wipers and the other is for the exterior ambient lights to trigger the headlights and night mode for our internal screens.

nickjhowe | January 6, 2013

@BYT - if that's the case, and the ambient sensor is in the mirror, I'm surprised there such a wide cut out in the plastic. Why not just surface mount the sensor? Or integrate it with the rain sensor?

The cut out looks big enough to enable wide angle viewing...

BYT | January 6, 2013

Just relaying what I was told, maybe the sensor can do more, future integration via software update? It's so super easy to speculate, harder to be right about the speculation.

rlpm | January 6, 2013

Rampant speculation: it's a camera for image recognition of speed limit signs to alert when you're going to fast.
;)

nickjhowe | January 6, 2013

@rlpm - no need; that is available through the navigation app (or at least we hope it will be). I think it is a facial recognition system for TM to spot potential new purchasers who are paying close attention to the car.

rlpm | January 6, 2013

@nickjhowe: facial recognition system for TM to spot potential new purchasers

Nice! :)

MaDo | May 4, 2013

Is it anyone that have a answer to what this sensor is used for?
Could it be the mobileye SeeQ camera?
Link: http://www.mobileye.com/technology/processing-platforms/seeq/

If Tesla have integrated this it could be used for a wide range of driver assistance applications.

murraypetera | May 4, 2013

We can only dream it is. Mobile eye would be fantastic with safety breaks, lane departure.

markspend01 | August 27, 2013

Hey Guys well i think that one is a sensor of wiper and the other is the ambient light sensor. Thanks!!

amirm | August 27, 2013

That's right, I am trying to replace mirror with one that has built in homelink and Tesla folks said that its a rain sensor and a light sensor.

emd1234 | August 27, 2013

The one in the windshield is the ambient light sensor as well as the rain sensor. The one in the back of the mirror is the sensor that auto dims your mirrors. Cover it with your hand for a minute and you will see your mirrors dim.

amirm | August 27, 2013

Edoubler
If you are correct than I should not have a problem replacing the existing mirror with another auto dimming one that has other features like homelink built in, right?

jat | August 27, 2013

As long as it provides the exact same interface to the rest of the car, so the car knows to turn on the lights and dim the internal screens, for example, and for the auto-wipers to operate properly.

amirm | August 28, 2013

But if the one on the windshield senses rain and light and the one in the mirror only controls the dimming of the mirror I don't see what kind of interface would be involved. Am I missing something?

jat | August 28, 2013

It isn't just dimming of the mirror, but turning on headlights when they are set to auto and dimming the consoles. Also, I assumed you were going to replace the pedestal of the mirror as well, which is where the rain sensor is.

amir | August 28, 2013

Thanks, got it.