EXTERIOR SIDEVIEW MIRROR SYSTEM

  • US 20110170206A1
  • Filed: 03/24/2011
  • Published: 07/14/2011
  • Est. Priority Date: 05/20/2003
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. An exterior sideview mirror system suitable for use on an automobile, said exterior sideview mirror system comprising:

  • an exterior sideview mirror assembly adapted for attachment to a side of an automobile;

    said exterior sideview mirror assembly including a reflective element having a rearward field of view when attached to the side of the automobile;

    said reflective element attached to an electrically-operated actuator of said exterior sideview mirror assembly and movable by said actuator in order to position said rearward field of view to a driver-desired position when said exterior sideview mirror assembly is attached to the side of the automobile;

    wherein said reflective element comprises a plano-auxiliary reflective element assembly, said plano-auxiliary reflective element assembly comprising a plano reflective element having unit magnification and a separate auxiliary reflective element having a curvature;

    said plano reflective element and said auxiliary reflective element of said plano-auxiliary reflective element assembly mounted adjacently at said plano-auxiliary reflective element assembly in a side-by-side relationship and not superimposed with one reflective element on top of the other reflective element;

    said plano reflective element and said auxiliary reflective element supported at a backing plate element, said backing plate element mounting to said actuator such that movement of said backing plate element of said plano-auxiliary reflective element assembly by said actuator simultaneously and similarly moves said plano reflective element and said auxiliary reflective element;

    said auxiliary reflective element having a wide-angle field of view encompassing a blind spot in the side lane adjacent the side of the automobile to which said exterior sideview mirror assembly is attached;

    said backing plate element having a first support portion supporting said plano reflective element and a second support portion supporting said auxiliary reflective element;

    wherein said auxiliary reflective element is positioned at an outboard portion of said plano-auxiliary reflective element assembly when said exterior sideview mirror assembly is mounted to the side of the automobile;

    wherein said backing plate element comprises a polymeric substrate that is formed as a single element by injection molding of a polymeric resin;

    wherein said backing plate element is capable of supporting said plano reflective element and said auxiliary reflective element;

    wherein said first support portion of said backing plate element comprises a flat portion and wherein said plano reflective element is disposed at said flat portion;

    wherein said second support portion of said backing plate element comprises a curved portion and wherein said auxiliary reflective element is disposed at said curved portion;

    wherein the rearward field of view of said auxiliary reflective element is different from and angled to the rearward field of view of said plano reflective element when both are attached to said backing plate element of said plano-auxiliary reflective element assembly when said plano-auxiliary reflective element assembly is included in said exterior sideview mirror assembly and when said exterior sideview mirror assembly is attached to the side of the automobile;

    wherein angling of the rearward field of view of said auxiliary reflective element relative to the rearward field of view of said plano reflective element is achieved, at least in part, by an angling of said second support portion of said backing plate element supporting said auxiliary reflective element relative to said first support portion of said backing plate element supporting said plano reflective element;

    wherein, when said exterior sideview mirror assembly is attached to the side of the automobile, the field of view of said plano reflective element generally views rearwardly of the equipped automobile and the field of view of said auxiliary reflective element generally views towards a blind spot in the side lane adjacent the side of the automobile to which said exterior sideview mirror assembly is attached, said blind spot being generally outside the rearward field of view of said plano reflective element when said plano reflective element is viewed by a driver of the equipped automobile when said exterior sideview mirror assembly is attached to the side of the automobile;

    wherein at least one of said plano reflective element and said auxiliary reflective element comprises one of (a) a glass substrate having a surface coated with a metallic reflector coating and (b) a polymeric substrate having a thin glass element applied to a surface thereof and with an opposing surface thereof having a reflecting layer applied thereto;

    wherein said plano reflective element and said auxiliary reflective element are adjacently supported at said backing plate element at a joint, and wherein said plano-auxiliary reflective element assembly includes a demarcation element, said demarcation element disposed at said joint to form a demarcation between said plano reflective element and said auxiliary reflective element, said demarcation element having a portion visible to a driver of the automobile when said exterior sideview mirror assembly is attached to the side of the automobile;

    wherein at least a portion of said auxiliary reflective element adjacent said plano reflective element has its front surface generally coplanar with the front surface of said plano reflective element;

    wherein said demarcation element is dark colored;

    wherein said demarcation element comprises a polymer material;

    wherein said joint comprises a space between said plano reflective element and said auxiliary reflective clement;

    wherein said demarcation element is at least partially disposed at said space between said plano reflective element and said auxiliary reflective element; and

    wherein said demarcation element comprises a wall on said backing plate element, said wall located on said backing plate element at said joint, said wall disposed between said plano reflective element and said auxiliary reflective element.

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