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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've recently started using Android Auto a lot. Not that I need it, as I mostly drive around the neighborhoods which I know by heart, but I wanted to get used to it for my occasional forays into unfamiliar territory.

I noticed that the screen goes into "Night Mode" - meaning it goes dark - not just at night, which I could attribute to the time of day, but also if I go into a tunnel. Which tells me that it is based on ambient light.

It can't be my phone which is detecting the darkness outside, because I keep the phone inside my backpack. So I'm guessing that the CAR ITSELF is telling the head unit that it is dark outside.

I know that the car must have some sort of external darkness sensor, since the headlights have an "auto" setting. But I'm surprised that this functionality can interact with the head unit when it is being governed by Android Auto through my phone. I just find it surprising that the car's sensors and the phone's OS can coordinate that well together! Usually technology is not that robust!

Anyone else have any insight into how this works? Thanks!
 

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It's controlled by the light sensor in the center of the dashboard just behind the windshield. Throw something on it to block it and you'll see what I mean.
 

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Forgot to mention that the Android Auto dark function is independent of the headlight switch position. So the head unit must be using the raw light sensor reading via the vehicle computer comms bus.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's controlled by the light sensor in the center of the dashboard just behind the windshield. Throw something on it to block it and you'll see what I mean.
I tried this as an experiment, throwing my hat over the sensor. Sure enough, the screen went into dark mode. But when I took the hat off, it stayed in dark mode for several minutes. I suppose that is because they don't want you getting tossed out of dark mode every time oncoming headlights, or overhead street lamps, shine on your windshield.
 
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