Extended field of view exterior mirror element for vehicle

  • US 9,694,750 B2
  • Filed: 05/16/2016
  • Issued: 07/04/2017
  • Est. Priority Date: 05/20/2003
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. An exterior sideview mirror assembly suitable for vehicular use, said exterior sideview mirror assembly comprising:

  • a mirror housing;

    a mirror backing plate element;

    wherein said mirror backing plate element is movable within said mirror housing by an electrically-operable actuator;

    a main plano mirror element fixedly disposed at a first portion of said mirror backing plate element;

    said main plano mirror element having a first primary field of view rearward of a vehicle equipped with said exterior sideview mirror assembly;

    an auxiliary non-plano curved mirror element fixedly disposed at a second portion of said mirror backing plate element;

    wherein said auxiliary non-plano curved mirror element comprises a convex-curved substrate coated with a metallic reflector coating;

    said auxiliary non-plano curved mirror element having a second auxiliary field of view rearward of the vehicle equipped with said exterior sideview mirror assembly;

    wherein said second auxiliary field of view rearward of the equipped vehicle views into a blind spot in a side lane adjacent the side of the equipped vehicle at which said exterior sideview mirror assembly is attached, and wherein the blind spot is outside the rearward field of view of said main plano mirror element when said main plano mirror element is viewed by a driver of the equipped vehicle when said exterior sideview mirror assembly is attached at the side of the equipped vehicle;

    wherein said main plano mirror element and said auxiliary non-plano curved mirror element are adjacently disposed at said mirror backing plate element in a side-by-side relationship and are not superimposed with one mirror element on top of the other mirror element;

    wherein said mirror backing plate element comprises a polymeric molding;

    wherein said second portion of said mirror backing plate element is convex-curved;

    wherein said reflector-coated convex-curved substrate of said auxiliary non-plano curved mirror element has a spherical curvature, and wherein said second portion of said mirror backing plate element has a curvature at least partially matching said spherical curvature;

    wherein said first primary field of view of said main plano mirror element overlaps said second auxiliary field of view of said auxiliary non-plano curved mirror element;

    wherein a principal axis of said second auxiliary field of view of said auxiliary non-plano curved mirror element that is at said second portion of said mirror backing plate element is different from and angled relative to a principal axis of said first primary field of view of said main plano mirror element that is at said first portion of said mirror backing plate element;

    wherein the principal axis of said second auxiliary field of view of said auxiliary non-plano curved mirror element is tilted downward with respect to the principal axis of said first primary field of view of said main plano mirror element;

    wherein said mirror backing plate element mounts to said actuator such that movement of said mirror backing plate element by said actuator simultaneously and similarly moves said main plano mirror element and said auxiliary non-plano curved mirror element;

    wherein said main plano mirror element comprises one of (a) a generally flat glass substrate having a surface coated with a metallic reflector coating and (b) a generally flat polymeric substrate having a thin glass element applied to a surface thereof and with an opposing surface thereof having a reflecting layer applied thereto;

    wherein said first primary field of view of said main plano mirror element overlaps said second auxiliary field of view of said auxiliary non-plano curved mirror element by between about 2 degrees and about 20 degrees;

    wherein, when used in an exterior sideview mirror assembly of an equipped vehicle, said main plano mirror element has a rearward field of view that subtends an angle of less than about 20 degrees relative to the side of the equipped vehicle;

    wherein said main plano mirror element has a fixed reflectance;

    wherein said auxiliary non-plano curved mirror element has a fixed reflectance; and

    wherein said exterior sideview mirror assembly comprises a driver-side exterior sideview mirror assembly.

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