Vehicular interior rearview mirror system

  • US 8,177,376 B2
  • Filed: 10/28/2011
  • Issued: 05/15/2012
  • Est. Priority Date: 06/06/2002
  • Status: Active Grant
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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 having a mirror housing and a reflective element;

    wherein said reflective element comprises an electro-optic reflective element;

    wherein said electro-optic reflective element comprises a transflective mirror reflector and wherein said transflective mirror reflector comprises a metal thin film layer;

    wherein at least one of (a) said transflective mirror reflector of said reflective element is at least 15 percent transmissive of visible light, (b) said transflective mirror reflector of said reflective element has a reflectance of at least about 60 percent to visible light incident thereon, and (c) said transflective mirror reflector of said reflective element is at least 15 percent transmissive of visible light and said transflective mirror reflector of said reflective element has a reflectance of at least about 60 percent to visible light incident thereon;

    wherein said mirror housing is adjustable relative to an interior portion of a vehicle equipped with said interior rearview mirror assembly when said interior rearview mirror assembly is normally mounted in the equipped vehicle;

    wherein adjustment of said mirror housing by a driver of the equipped vehicle adjusts a rearward field of view of said electro-optic reflective element when said interior rearview mirror assembly is normally mounted in the equipped vehicle;

    wherein the interior portion of the equipped vehicle comprises an in-cabin surface of the windshield of the equipped vehicle, and wherein said interior rearview mirror system comprises a mirror mounting button attached at the in-cabin surface of the windshield of the equipped vehicle;

    wherein said interior rearview mirror assembly includes a pivot joint enabling the driver of the equipped vehicle to pivotally adjust said mirror housing to set the rearward field of view of said reflective element to the driver'"'"'s desired setting with said interior rearview mirror assembly mounted to said mirror mounting button attached at the in-cabin surface of the windshield of the equipped vehicle;

    an information display, said information display comprising a reconfigurable display element comprising a plurality of pixels;

    wherein said information display is disposed in said mirror housing rearward of said transflective mirror reflector of said reflective element;

    wherein information displayed by said information display is viewable by the driver of the equipped vehicle viewing through said transflective mirror reflector of said reflective element when said information display is displaying information, and wherein, when said information display is not displaying information, the presence of said information display behind said transflective mirror reflector of said reflective element is substantially not discerned by the driver of the equipped vehicle normally viewing said reflective element when operating the equipped vehicle;

    wherein information display intensity of said information display is adjustable responsive to determination of a light level at said interior rearview mirror assembly by at least one photosensor;

    wherein said information display is operable to display information for viewing by the driver of the equipped vehicle, and wherein said information at least comprises video images captured by a camera of the equipped vehicle; and

    wherein said information display is operable to illuminate particular pixels of said plurality of pixels of said reconfigurable display element to form characters for viewing by the driver of the equipped vehicle, wherein said characters provide, for viewing by the driver of the equipped vehicle, at least one of (i) text information and (ii) iconistic information.

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