Vehicle accessory module

  • US 7,533,998 B2
  • Filed: 03/12/2007
  • Issued: 05/19/2009
  • Est. Priority Date: 01/31/2002
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. An accessory module system for a vehicle, said accessory module system comprising:

  • an interior rearview mirror assembly, said interior rearview mirror assembly comprising an interior rearview mirror assembly mounting portion;

    an accessory module separate from said interior rearview mirror assembly, said accessory module comprising an accessory module mounting portion;

    at least two accessories housed at least partially by said accessory module, one of said at least two accessories comprising a camera and another of said at least two accessories comprising a rain sensor, said camera having a lens;

    a first attachment member at an interior surface of a windshield of a vehicle;

    said accessory module mounting portion being configured to detachably mount to said first attachment member;

    said accessory module comprising a windshield facing portion that opposes the interior surface of the vehicle windshield when said accessory module mounting portion is mounted to said first attachment member at the interior surface of the vehicle windshield, and wherein said windshield facing portion is disposed generally at the vehicle windshield when said accessory module mounting portion is mounted to said first attachment member;

    said camera being disposed in said accessory module, said accessory module comprising structure to angle said camera with respect to said windshield facing portion of said accessory module, said camera being angled by said structure of said accessory module and with respect to said windshield facing portion to at least partially compensate for the angle of the windshield itself, said camera having a forward field of view through said windshield facing portion and through the vehicle windshield when said accessory module mounting portion is mounted to said first attachment member, and wherein a principal axis of the forward field of view of said camera is directed generally at or below horizontal when said accessory module mounting portion is mounted to said first attachment member;

    wherein said lens of said camera is spaced from the interior surface of the vehicle windshield when said accessory module mounting portion is mounted to said first attachment member at the interior surface of the vehicle windshield; and

    wherein said interior rearview mirror assembly mounting portion detachably mounts to at least one (a) a second attachment member disposed at a portion of said accessory module that generally opposes said windshield facing portion, (b) a second attachment member at the interior surface of the vehicle windshield and spaced from said first attachment member, and (c) a header portion of the vehicle remote from said first attachment member.

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