Vehicle exterior rearview mirror system with blind spot indicator

  • US 7,880,596 B2
  • Filed: 06/04/2010
  • Issued: 02/01/2011
  • Est. Priority Date: 07/06/2005
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. An exterior rearview mirror system for a vehicle, said exterior rearview mirror system comprising:

  • an exterior rearview mirror assembly configured for attaching to an exterior side of a vehicle equipped with said exterior rearview mirror system, said exterior rearview mirror assembly having a mirror casing and a reflective element adjustably supported within said mirror casing, said mirror casing having an inboard portion that faces generally toward the exterior side of the equipped vehicle, wherein said inboard portion of said mirror casing is viewable by a driver of the equipped vehicle when said exterior rearview mirror assembly is attached at the exterior side of the equipped vehicle, and wherein said inboard portion of said mirror casing is substantially not directly viewed by drivers of other vehicles when the other vehicles are overtaking the equipped vehicle from the rear of the equipped vehicle at a side lane adjacent to the side of the equipped vehicle at which said exterior rearview mirror assembly is mounted when the equipped vehicle is operated on a road;

    a blind spot indicator at said inboard portion of said mirror casing, wherein said blind spot indicator comprises a unitary indicator module, wherein said unitary indicator module comprises an illumination source comprising at least one light emitting diode, wherein said illumination source is disposed behind an at least partially light transmitting element of said unitary indicator module;

    wherein said unitary indicator module is responsive to a control signal to activate said illumination source to indicate to the driver of the equipped vehicle a detected presence of an object at least one of alongside the equipped vehicle and rearward of the equipped vehicle, and wherein said control signal is generated by an electronic blind spot monitoring system of the equipped vehicle;

    wherein said unitary indicator module is substantially sealed so as to be substantially impervious to water;

    wherein said at least partially light transmitting element is viewable by the driver of the equipped vehicle at said inboard portion of said mirror casing, and wherein said blind spot indicator comprises an icon that is indicative of the function of said blind spot indicator irrespective of actuation of said illumination source, and wherein light emitted by said illumination source passes through said at least partially light transmitting element for viewing by the driver of the equipped vehicle; and

    wherein said unitary indicator module is disposed at said inboard portion of said mirror casing so that light emitted by said illumination source passing through said at least partially light transmitting element is readily viewable by the driver of the equipped vehicle and wherein light emitted by said illumination source is generally not viewed by other road users when said exterior rearview mirror assembly is mounted at the side of the equipped vehicle and when the equipped vehicle is operated on a road.

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