Patents by Inventor Frederick T. Bauer

Frederick T. Bauer has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Publication number: 20030112489
    Abstract: An improved electrochromic rearview mirror for motor vehicles, the mirror incorporating thin front and rear spaced glass elements having a thickness ranging from about 0.5 to about 1.5. A layer of transparent conductive material is placed onto the mirror's second surface, and either another layer of transparent conductive material or a combined reflector/electrode is placed onto the mirror's third surface. A chamber, defined by the layers on the interior surfaces of the front and rear glass elements and a peripheral sealing member, contains a free-standing gel comprising a solvent and a crosslinked polymer matrix. The chamber further contains at least one electrochromic material in solution with the solvent and interspersed in the crosslinked polymer matrix.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 3, 2002
    Publication date: June 19, 2003
    Inventors: Kevin L. Ash, William L. Tonar, Frederick T. Bauer, Kathy E. Roberts
  • Publication number: 20030103257
    Abstract: An electrochromic variable reflectance mirror for a vehicle includes a front element having a rear surface with a first layer of electrically conductive material disposed thereon, and a rear element having a front surface with a second layer of electrically conductive material disposed thereon. An electrical conductor may be provided to electrically couple a portion of the first conductive layer with a portion of the second conductive layer. At least one of the first and second conductive layers may be separated into a first portion and a second portion that is electrically isolated from the first portion and is in electrical contact with an electrochromic material disposed between the elements. A seal is provided to sealably bond the elements together in a spaced-apart relationship. The seal may have at least one electrically conductive region.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 30, 2002
    Publication date: June 5, 2003
    Inventors: Jeffrey A. Forgette, Harlan J. Byker, William L. Tonar, Frederick T. Bauer, David J. Cammenga
  • Patent number: 6572233
    Abstract: A mirror includes a housing, an electrochromic mirror subassembly in the housing including front and rear transparent elements, a layer of electrochromic material associated with the front and rear transparent elements, a reflector layer associated with the rear transparent element, with a portion of the reflector layer defining an opening, and an indicia panel covering the opening and configured to form a visual display. The visual display includes a panel with a discrete number of pre-formed letters and symbols. At least one light source is positioned in the housing to pass light through the indicia panel and the opening of the mirror subassembly to selectively illuminate the visual display. The plurality of light-emitting devices being a number that is equal to or less than the discrete number. The at least one light source emits a light matched in color to the indicia panel so that a maximum of light from the at least one light source passes through the indicia panel and is visible to a vehicle driver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2003
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: Bradley L. Northman, John W. Carter, Frederick T. Bauer
  • Patent number: 6550949
    Abstract: A vehicle system is disclosed that includes a vehicle lamp assembly including a plurality of LEDs that emit white light so as to function as an illuminator light. The lamp assembly also may include a plurality of LEDs that emit colored light, such as red or red-orange, so as to function as a signal light. Alternatively or additionally, the lamp assembly may include a camera of a vehicle imaging system. The lamp assembly may serve as a center high mounted stop light or as a tail light. The system also includes a controller that rapidly pulses the LEDs on and off at a rate that is imperceivable by the human eye. The pulsing intervals of the LEDs may be related to the readout intervals of the camera sensor array. In this manner, the LEDs may be pulsed on during camera readout so as to increase their intensity while the camera is capturing an image, or may be pulsed off during camera readout to prevent feedback glare from interfering with image capture by a highly sensitive image sensor array of the camera.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2003
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: Frederick T. Bauer, Lois Bauer, John K. Roberts, Joseph S. Stam
  • Patent number: 6545794
    Abstract: An electrochromic device comprising: a first glass element having an electrically conductive material associated therewith, wherein said first element comprises a height (h1), a width (w1), a thickness (t1), an inner surface, and an outer surface; a second element having an electrically conductive material associated therewith, wherein said second element comprises a height (h2), a width (w2) , and a thickness (t2), an inner surface, and an outer surface; a cell spacing (c) which comprises a distance between said inner surface of said first element and said inner surface of said second element; a gelled electrochromic medium contained within a chamber positioned between said first and second elements; wherein (h1), (w1), (t1), (h2), (w2), (t2), and (c) are numerical values in millimeters; and wherein (h1), (w1), and (t1) of said first element, and (h2), (w2), and (t2) of said second element and (c) comprise numerical values such that the following inequality is satisfied:
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2003
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: Kevin L. Ash, William L. Tonar, Frederick T. Bauer, Kathy E. Roberts, David A. Theiste
  • Patent number: 6509832
    Abstract: A vehicle system is disclosed that includes a vehicle lamp assembly including a plurality of LEDs that emit white light so as to function as an illuminator light. The lamp assembly also may include a plurality of LEDs that emit colored light, such as red or red-orange, so as to function as a signal light. Alternatively or additionally, the lamp assembly may include a camera of a vehicle imaging system. The lamp assembly may serve as a center high mounted stop light or as a tail light. The system also includes a controller that rapidly pulses the LEDs on and off at a rate that is imperceivable by the human eye. The pulsing intervals of the LEDs may be related to the readout intervals of the camera sensor array. In this manner, the LEDs may be pulsed on during camera readout so as to increase their intensity while the camera is capturing an image, or may be pulsed off during camera readout to prevent feedback glare from interfering with image capture by a highly sensitive image sensor array of the camera.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 28, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 21, 2003
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: Frederick T. Bauer, Lois Bauer, John K. Roberts, Joseph S. Stam
  • Publication number: 20030002179
    Abstract: A vehicle lamp assembly includes a housing and an LED lamp carried in the housing. A signal mirror includes a mirror and an LED lamp. The LED lamp includes a heat extraction member.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 27, 2002
    Publication date: January 2, 2003
    Inventors: John K. Roberts, Frederick T. Bauer, Joseph S. Stam, Timothy A. Bonardi, William L. Tonar, Robert R. Turnbull
  • Publication number: 20020195949
    Abstract: A system for automatically controlling continuously variable headlamps on a controlled vehicle includes an imaging system capable of determining lateral and elevational locations of headlamps from oncoming vehicles and tail lamps from leading vehicles. The system also includes a control unit that can acquire an image from in front of the controlled vehicle. The image covers a glare area including points at which drivers of oncoming and leading vehicles would perceive the headlamps to cause excessive glare. The image is processed to determine if at least one oncoming or leading vehicle is within the glare area. If at least one vehicle is within the glare area, the headlamp illumination range is reduced. Otherwise, the illumination range is set to full illumination range.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 18, 2002
    Publication date: December 26, 2002
    Inventors: Joseph S. Stam, Jon H. Bechtel, Frederick T. Bauer
  • Publication number: 20020171954
    Abstract: A rearview mirror assembly of the present invention includes a circuit board disposed behind the mirror. The circuit board may be a flexible circuit board and may include an LED mounted to project light through a transparent window in the flexible circuit board and through the mirror. The flexible circuit board may function as a mirror heater and may include conductive paths for connection to the LED and/or electrodes of an electrochromic mirror. The LED may include an LED chip mounted directly on the circuit board and encapsulated thereon by an encapsulant.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 25, 2002
    Publication date: November 21, 2002
    Inventors: Timothy A. Bonardi, Frederick T. Bauer
  • Patent number: 6441943
    Abstract: A vehicle lamp assembly includes a housing and an LED lamp carried in the housing. A signal mirror, includes a mirror; and an LED lamp. The LED lamp includes a heat extraction member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2002
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: John K. Roberts, Frederick T. Bauer, Joseph S. Stam, Timothy A. Bonardi, William L. Tonar, Robert R. Turnbull
  • Patent number: 6433913
    Abstract: Improved electro-optic devices are provided which may be in the configuration of variable transmittance windows, variable transmittance eyeglasses, variable transmittance light filters and displays and other devices wherein the transmittance of light therethrough automatically varies as a function of light impinging thereon. The electro-optic devices include a self-erasing electro-optic medium, and the transmittance of light through such medium varies as a function of electrical signals applied thereto through the agency of at least one photovoltaic cell, enclosed within the electro-optic device, and obviating the necessity of providing external drive voltage or external bleeder resistors or external wiring. In addition, a method and apparatus are provided for making such electro-optic devices.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2002
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: Frederick T. Bauer, Harlan J. Byker, David J. Cammenga, Thomas F. Guarr, David L. Poll, William L. Tonar, Scott W. Vander Zwaag
  • Patent number: 6429594
    Abstract: A system for automatically controlling continuously variable headlamps on a controlled vehicle includes an imaging system capable of determining lateral and elevational locations of headlamps from oncoming vehicles and tail lamps from leading vehicles. The system also includes a control unit that can acquire an image from in front of the controlled vehicle. The image covers a glare area including points at which drivers of oncoming and leading vehicles would perceive the headlamps to cause excessive glare. The image is processed to determine if at least one oncoming or leading vehicle is within the glare area. If at least one vehicle is within the glare area, the headlamp illumination range is reduced. Otherwise, the illumination range is set to full illumination range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2002
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: Joseph S. Stam, Jon H. Bechtel, Frederick T. Bauer
  • Publication number: 20020093741
    Abstract: Equipment on automotive vehicle is controlled by a system including at least one semiconductor light sensor having variable sensitivity to light. Each light sensor generates a light signal indicative of the intensity of light incident on the light sensor. Control logic varies the sensitivity of the light sensor and generates equipment control signals based on received light signals. Sensitivity of light sensors may be varied by changing the integration time for producing charge from light incident on light transducers, by selecting between light transducers of different sensitivity within the light sensor, by using a light transducer with a sensitivity that is a function of the amount of incident light, and the like. Controlled equipment includes devices such as automatically dimming rearview mirrors, headlamps, and moisture removal means.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 28, 2002
    Publication date: July 18, 2002
    Inventors: Jon H. Bechtel, Frederick T. Bauer, Joseph S. Stam, Robert C. Knapp, Robert R. Turnbull, David J. Schmidt, G. Bruce Poe, David L. Plangger, Robert H. Nixon, Eric R. Fossum, Timothy E. Steenwyk
  • Publication number: 20020060522
    Abstract: A system for automatically controlling continuously variable headlamps on a controlled vehicle includes an imaging system capable of determining lateral and elevational locations of headlamps from oncoming vehicles and tail lamps from leading vehicles. The system also includes a control unit that can acquire an image from in front of the controlled vehicle. The image covers a glare area including points at which drivers of oncoming and leading vehicles would perceive the headlamps to cause excessive glare. The image is processed to determine if at least one oncoming or leading vehicle is within the glare area. If at least one vehicle is within the glare area, the headlamp illumination range is reduced. Otherwise, the illumination range is set to full illumination range.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 24, 2001
    Publication date: May 23, 2002
    Inventors: Joseph S. Stam, Jon H. Bechtel, Frederick T. Bauer
  • Patent number: 6379013
    Abstract: Equipment on automotive vehicle (20) is controlled by a system at least one semiconductor light sensor (170, 170′) having variable sensitivity to light. Each light sensor generates a light signal (164) indicative of the intensity of light incident on the light sensor. Control logic (66) varies the sensitivity of the light sensor and generates equipment control signals (166) based on received light signals. Sensitivity of light sensors (170, 170′) may be varied by changing the integration time (228) for producing charge from light (176) incident on light transducers (178), by selecting between light transducers (178, 490, 500, 504) of different sensitivity within the light sensor (170), by using a light transducer (530) with a sensitivity that is a function of the amount of incident light (176), and the like. Controlled equipment includes devices such as automatically dimming rearview mirrors (24,26), headlamps (44), and moisture removal means (38, 40, 42).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2002
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: Jon H. Bechtel, Frederick T. Bauer, Joseph S. Stam, Robert C. Knapp, Robert R. Turnbull, David J. Schmidt, G. Bruce Poe, David L. Plangger, Robert H. Nixon, Eric R. Fossum, Timothy E. Steenwyk
  • Publication number: 20020024713
    Abstract: According to one embodiment, a proximity switch comprises a radiation emitter for emitting radiation, at least one photosensor for detecting light levels near the radiation emitter, and an electronic circuit for energizing the radiation emitter and for receiving and processing signals from the photosensor so as to perform a specified function upon detecting an object that causes the radiation emitted from the radiation emitter to be reflected back to the photosensor. According to another embodiment, a rearview assembly for a vehicle comprises a transparent housing.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 6, 2001
    Publication date: February 28, 2002
    Inventors: John K. Roberts, Jeremy A. Fogg, Frederick T. Bauer
  • Publication number: 20010055143
    Abstract: An improved electrochromic rearview mirror for motor vehicles, the mirror incorporating thin front and rear spaced glass elements having a thickness ranging from about 0.5 to about 1.5. A layer of transparent conductive material is placed onto the mirror's second surface, and either another layer of transparent conductive material or a combined reflector/electrode is placed onto the mirror's third surface. A chamber, defined by the layers on the interior surfaces of the front and rear glass elements and a peripheral sealing member, contains a free-standing gel comprising a solvent and a crosslinked polymer matrix. The chamber further contains at least one electrochromic material in solution with the solvent and interspersed in the crosslinked polymer matrix.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 30, 2001
    Publication date: December 27, 2001
    Inventors: Kevin L. Ash, William L. Tonar, Frederick T. Bauer, Kathy E. Roberts
  • Publication number: 20010024313
    Abstract: A rearview mirror assembly is disclosed including a housing adapted to be mounted to the vehicle, a mirror disposed in the housing, at least one electrically powered device disposed in the housing, and a power supply for receiving power from a vehicle power source having a voltage in excess of about 24 V and for supplying power at a voltage of about 5 V or less to the electrically powered device. The electrically powered device and the power supply exhibit an electromagnetic interference level of less than about 41 dB&mgr; V/m for emissions in the frequency range from about 0.4 MHz to about 20 MHz. The mirror is preferably an electrochromic mirror, and the electrically powered device may be a control circuit for the electrochromic mirror.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 30, 2001
    Publication date: September 27, 2001
    Inventors: Frederick T. Bauer, Robert R. Turnbull
  • Patent number: 6281632
    Abstract: Continuously variable headlamps offer greater flexibility for roadway illumination but offer challenges in automatic control design. Each continuously variable headlamp has an effective illumination range varied by changing at least one parameter from a set including horizontal direction aimed, vertical direction aimed, and intensity emitted. A system for automatically controlling continuously variable headlamps on a controlled vehicle includes an imaging system capable of determining lateral and elevational locations of headlamps from oncoming vehicles and tail lamps from leading vehicles. The system also includes a control unit that can acquire an image from in front of the controlled vehicle. The image covers a glare area including points at which drivers of oncoming and leading vehicles would perceive the headlamps to cause excessive glare. The image is processed to determine if at least one oncoming or leading is within the glare area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2001
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: Joseph S. Stam, Jon H. Bechtel, Frederick T. Bauer
  • Patent number: 6268950
    Abstract: An improved electrochromic rearview mirror for motor vehicles, the mirror incorporating thin front and rear spaced glass elements having a thickness ranging from about 0.5 to about 1.5. A layer of transparent conductive material is placed onto the mirror's second surface, and either another layer of transparent conductive material or a combined reflector/electrode is placed onto the mirror's third surface. A chamber, defined by the layers on the interior surfaces of the front and rear glass elements and a peripheral sealing member, contains a free-standing gel comprising a solvent and a crosslinked polymer matrix. The chamber further contains at least one electrochromic material in solution with the solvent and interspersed in the crosslinked polymer matrix.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 31, 2001
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: Kevin L. Ash, William L. Tonar, Frederick T. Bauer, Kathy E. Roberts