Interior rearview mirror system for vehicle

  • US 7,926,960 B2
  • Filed: 12/07/2009
  • Issued: 04/19/2011
  • 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 system suitable for use in a vehicle, said interior rearview mirror system comprising:

  • an interior rearview mirror assembly comprising a variable reflectance element, said variable reflectance element including an electro-optic medium disposed between a first substrate and a second substrate, said first substrate having a transparent conductive coating at its side contacted by said electro-optic medium, said second substrate having a metallic mirror reflector at its side contacted by said electro-optic medium, said metallic mirror reflector of said variable reflectance element comprising at least a sub-region that is partially transmissive to visible light incident thereat and significantly reflective to visible light incident thereon, wherein said metallic mirror reflector at least at said sub-region comprises a reflecting metal film comprising one of (a) silver and (b) a silver alloy;

    wherein said interior rearview mirror assembly comprises an information display positioned to the rear of said metallic mirror reflector of said variable reflectance element at said partially transmissive and significantly reflective sub-region of said variable reflectance element;

    wherein said information display comprises a reconfigurable display element backlit by a plurality of white light-emitting light emitting diodes;

    wherein light emanating from said plurality of white light-emitting light emitting diodes of said information display transmits through said partially transmissive and significantly reflective sub-region of said metallic mirror reflector for viewing of displayed information by a driver of a vehicle equipped with said interior rearview mirror assembly, said metallic mirror reflector being present and uninterrupted at said partially transmissive and significantly reflective sub-region of said variable reflectance element where said information display is disposed therebehind;

    wherein said interior rearview mirror assembly comprises at least one light sensor;

    wherein said interior rearview mirror assembly comprises a control;

    wherein, responsive to a light level sensed by said at least one light sensor, the luminous intensity of said information display is adjustable by said control to provide a luminous intensity of at least about 750 candelas/sq. meter to a driver of the equipped vehicle viewing said information display through said partially transmissive and significantly reflective sub-region of said metallic mirror reflector of said interior rearview mirror assembly when said interior rearview mirror assembly is normally mounted in the equipped vehicle and when said information display is actuated; and

    wherein, to a driver of the equipped vehicle who is viewing said first substrate of said variable reflectance element when normally operating the equipped vehicle, the presence of said information display rearward of said partially transmissive and significantly reflective sub-region of said variable reflectance element is substantially not apparent until said information display is actuated.

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