Information display system for a vehicle

  • US 7,488,080 B2
  • Filed: 06/28/2004
  • Issued: 02/10/2009
  • Est. Priority Date: 11/24/1999
  • Status: Expired due to Fees
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First Claim
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1. An interior rearview mirror assembly suitable for use in a vehicle, said mirror assembly comprising:

  • a variable reflectance element, said variable reflectance element including an electro-optic medium disposed between a first sheet and a second sheet, said first sheet having a transparent conductive coating on its side contacted by said electro-optic medium, said second sheet having a metallic mirror reflector on its side contacted by said electro-optic medium, said metallic mirror reflector of said variable reflectance element being partially transmissive to visible light;

    a first information display module positioned to the rear of said variable reflectance element at a first location, said first information display module comprising a display element backlit by a plurality of light emitting diodes, wherein said first location is behind said metallic mirror reflector, and wherein said light emitting diodes emit white light that transmits through said display element and through said metallic mirror reflector for viewing by the driver of the vehicle;

    a second information display module positioned to the rear of said variable reflectance element at a second location that is spaced from said first location where said first information display module is positioned;

    a single control for adjusting the luminous intensity of said first information display module and said second information display module;

    at least one light sensor, an output of said control being generated responsive to a light level sensed by said at least one light sensor, wherein said control at least one of (a) adjusts the luminous intensity of the information displayed by at least said first information display module to provide, to a driver of the vehicle viewing said interior rearview mirror assembly as normally mounted in the vehicle, an information display luminance having a luminous intensity of at least about 750 candelas/sq. meter when said at least one light sensor detects an ambient light level characteristic of a daytime condition, (b) adjusts the luminous intensity of the information displayed by at least said first information display module to provide, to a driver of the vehicle viewing said interior rearview mirror assembly as normally mounted in the vehicle, an information display luminance having a luminous intensity of less than about 50 candelas/sq. meter when said at least one light sensor detects an ambient light level characteristic of a nighttime condition, and (c) adjusts the luminous intensity of the information displayed by at least said first information display module to provide, to a driver of the vehicle viewing said interior rearview mirror assembly as normally mounted in the vehicle, an information display luminance having a luminous intensity of at least about 750 candelas/sq. meter when said at least one light sensor detects an ambient light level characteristic of a daytime condition, and adjusts the luminous intensity of the information displayed by at least said first information display module to provide, to the driver of the vehicle viewing said interior rearview mirror assembly as normally mounted in the vehicle, an information display luminance having a luminous intensity of less than about 50 candelas/sq. meter when said at least one light sensor detects an ambient light level characteristic of a nighttime condition; and

    the luminous intensity of at least said first information display module increasing responsive to said output of said control to compensate for any decrease in light transmission of said electro-optic medium.

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