Adjustable Patents (Class 359/604)
  • Patent number: 10300842
    Abstract: An illumination assembly configured to emit diffuse light through an indicator is disclosed. The assembly comprises a substrate having an applique disposed thereon. The applique forms an opening configured to transmit light through the substrate. The assembly further comprises a light source in connection with a circuit and configured to emit light through the shape. A diffusing layer is applied to a surface of the assembly between the circuit and the substrate. The diffusing layer comprises a resin material configured to cure in response to exposure to ultraviolet light or heat. The diffusing layer further comprises a filler material comprising a plurality of beaded structures configured to diffuse light from the light source.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2019
    Assignee: GENTEX CORPORATION
    Inventors: Garret C. DeNolf, David J. Cammenga, Adam R. Heintzelman
  • Patent number: 10207705
    Abstract: A collision avoidance system includes a plurality of cameras disposed at a vehicle, and an electronic control unit that includes an image processor operable to process image data captured by the cameras. A plurality of other sensors sense at least one of rearward and sideward of the equipped vehicle and capture sensor data. The collision avoidance system may determine imminence of collision with the equipped vehicle by another vehicle present exterior the equipped vehicle responsive at least in part to (a) image processing by the image processor of image data captured by a forward-viewing camera, a rearward-viewing camera, a driver side-viewing camera and/or a passenger side-viewing camera, and (b) radar data sensed by the plurality of other sensors, lidar data sensed by at least one lidar sensor of said plurality of other sensors and/or information transmitted to or from the equipped vehicle via a car2car (v2v) communication system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2019
    Assignee: MAGNA ELECTRONICS INC.
    Inventor: Johannes Wolf
  • Patent number: 10166935
    Abstract: In a dimmable trim component for a vehicle interior, a trim article includes a reflective member having a photoreactive or an electro-optic coating disposed over the reflective member. The reflective member is configured to reflect ambient light. The coating is a bistable coating and is operable between a first light transmissive state and a second light transmissive state. When in the first light transmissive state, ambient light is transmitted to the reflective member for reflection by the reflective member through the coating. When in the second light transmissive state, a portion of the ambient light is absorbed by the coating and therefore, not reflected by the reflective member, such that the coating provides a dimming effect to the trim article in high ambient conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2019
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Donald Paul Bilger, Megan May Lovejoy, Mahendra Somasara Dassanayake
  • Patent number: 10126624
    Abstract: An electro-optic assembly is disclosed. The assembly comprises a front substrate having a first surface and a second surface substantially parallel to the first surface; a rear substrate spaced from and substantially parallel to the front substrate. The rear substrate comprises a third surface and a fourth surface substantially parallel to the third surface. The assembly further comprises an electrical contact for providing an electrical connection to an electrode in proximity to an electro-optic material and an appliqué layer. The appliqué layer is on at least a portion of the fourth surface and forms a contact-obscuring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2018
    Assignee: GENTEX CORPORATION
    Inventors: David J. Cammenga, Adam R. Heintzelman, Joel A. Stray, Autumn W. Trombka
  • Patent number: 10005425
    Abstract: The invention relates to a seat-belt warning device comprising a device which detects a seat occupied by a passenger, a device which detects whether the seat-belt associated with a seat is being used, and a device which emits a warning signal. According to the invention, the device which detects seat occupancy by a passenger comprises an optical image-producing system comprising an image evaluation unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2018
    Assignee: IEE International Electronics & Engineering S.A.
    Inventors: Guido Becker, Thierry Mousel, Paul Schockmel
  • Patent number: 10007113
    Abstract: In a motor vehicle, a display device has a display area displaying an image projected by an optical device by way of a reflection area as a virtual image. The optical device has at least one reflector and an actuator which moves the reflector. The actuator includes a shape memory material, which is designed to be deformed by a temperature-dependent phase transition and thereby move the reflector. By the provision of a thermal shape memory actuator that functions without an electric current, the optical path can be changed, so that overheating of internal temperature-sensitive components of the display device can be prevented in a way that is particularly inexpensive and efficient in terms of installation space and it is also possible to dispense with electronic sensing, evaluation and activation entirely.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2018
    Assignee: AUDI AG
    Inventor: Christian Wall
  • Patent number: 9855895
    Abstract: A mirror reflective element suitable for use in an exterior rearview mirror assembly of a vehicle includes a glass substrate having a first side and an opposing second side. The mirror reflective element has a principal reflector portion and an auxiliary reflector portion. The auxiliary reflector portion includes a curved recess established at the second side of the glass substrate. An auxiliary mirror metallic reflector is coated at the curved recess at the second side of the glass substrate and a principal mirror metallic reflector is coated at the principal reflector portion. The mirror reflective element is configured so that, when an exterior rearview mirror assembly equipped with the mirror reflective element is normally mounted at a side of a vehicle, the curved recess is disposed at an outboard upper region of the mirror reflective element relative to the side of the equipped vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 10, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 2, 2018
    Assignee: DONNELLY CORPORATION
    Inventor: Mingtang Zhao
  • Patent number: 9834157
    Abstract: In a dimmable trim component for a vehicle interior, a trim article includes a reflective member having a photoreactive or an electro-optic coating disposed over the reflective member. The reflective member is configured to reflect ambient light. The coating is a bistable coating and is operable between a first light transmissive state and a second light transmissive state. When in the first light transmissive state, ambient light is transmitted to the reflective member for reflection by the reflective member through the coating. When in the second light transmissive state, a portion of the ambient light is absorbed by the coating and therefore, not reflected by the reflective member, such that the coating provides a dimming effect to the trim article in high ambient conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2017
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Donald Paul Bilger, Megan May Lovejoy, Mahendra Somasara Dassanayake
  • Patent number: 9802609
    Abstract: A vehicular collision avoidance system includes a first image processor that processes image data captured by a forward-viewing camera to detect vehicles and determine vehicles present in the occupied lane and adjacent lane, and a second image processor that processes image data captured by a rearward-viewing camera to detect the presence of vehicles and determine vehicles present in the occupied lane and adjacent lane. Information relating to the vehicles is wirelessly transmitted between the vehicles. Responsive at least in part to at least one of (i) image processing of image data captured by the forward-viewing camera and/or rearward-viewing camera, (ii) sensor data sensed by at least one other sensor, and (iii) information transmitted to or from the equipped vehicle via the car2car (v2v) communication system, the collision avoidance system is operable to determine imminence of collision with the equipped vehicle by another vehicle present exterior the equipped vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2017
    Assignee: MAGNA ELECTRONICS INC.
    Inventor: Johannes Wolf
  • Patent number: 9761144
    Abstract: A mirror reflective element sub-assembly suitable for use for a vehicular exterior rearview mirror assembly includes a mirror reflective element, a signal indication module and a mirror back plate attached at the mirror reflective element. The signal indication module attaches to the mirror reflective element via an aperture of the back plate and has a light source that is activatable to emit light. The signal indication module includes a housing that substantially encases the light source. The signal indication module includes an inner surface at an angle relative to the mirror reflective element. The signal indication module includes a baffle disposed at the inner surface and at least partially in front of the light source, the baffle partially but not fully occluding light emitted by the light source to reduce a bright spot at the reflective element when viewed when the light source is activated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2017
    Assignee: MAGNA MIRRORS OF AMERICA, INC.
    Inventors: Gregory A. Huizen, Mark E. Kramer
  • Patent number: 9701247
    Abstract: A method of forming a mirror reflector sub-assembly suitable for use in an exterior rearview mirror assembly of a vehicle includes providing a glass substrate and physically removing glass from a portion of a second surface of the glass substrate to form a curved recess locally thereat, and coating via a vacuum deposition process the second surface of the glass substrate with a mirror reflector to form a mirror reflective element suitable for use in an automotive exterior rearview mirror assembly. The method includes forming a mirror back plate in a plastic molding operation and providing a heater pad and disposing the heater pad between the coated second surface of the glass substrate and the first side of the mirror back plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2017
    Assignee: DONNELLY CORPORATION
    Inventor: Mingtang Zhao
  • Patent number: 9499102
    Abstract: A method of forming a mirror reflector sub-assembly suitable for use in an exterior rearview mirror assembly of a vehicle includes providing a glass substrate and physically removing glass from a portion of a second surface of the glass substrate to form a curved recess locally thereat, and coating via a vacuum deposition process the second surface of the glass substrate with a mirror reflector to form a mirror reflective element suitable for use in an automotive exterior rearview mirror assembly. The method includes forming a mirror back plate in a plastic molding operation and providing a heater pad and disposing the heater pad between the coated second surface of the glass substrate and the first side of the mirror back plate. The heater pad is adhered to the coated second surface of glass substrate and to the first side of the mirror back plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2016
    Assignee: DONNELLY CORPORATION
    Inventor: Mingtang Zhao
  • Patent number: 9391341
    Abstract: Provided is a method for manufacturing a molten salt battery. The method includes a housing step (S100) for housing a positive electrode, a negative electrode and a separator in a battery container; an injecting step (S110) for injecting the molten salt into the battery container while heating the battery container; a closing step (S120) for closing the battery container with a closing lid; a heating and drying step (S130) for heating the battery container in a vacuum state with a check valve open; and a sealing step (S150) for closing the check valve. In summary, the positive electrode, negative electrode, separator and molten salt are heated and dried in a vacuum state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 12, 2016
    Assignee: SUMITOMO ELECTRIC INDUSTRIES, LTD.
    Inventors: Shoichiro Sakai, Atsushi Fukunaga, Koji Nitta, Shinji Inazawa
  • Patent number: 9315155
    Abstract: A method of forming a mirror reflector sub-assembly suitable for use in an exterior rearview mirror assembly of a vehicle includes providing a glass substrate having a first surface and a second surface. Glass is physically removed from a portion of the second surface of the glass substrate to form a curved recess locally thereat. The second surface of the glass substrate is coated with a mirror reflector via a vacuum deposition process. When used in an automotive exterior rearview mirror assembly, the mirror reflective element provides a principal reflector portion and an auxiliary reflector portion to a driver of the vehicle who views the mirror reflective element when normally operating the vehicle. A mirror back plate is formed in a plastic molding operation and a heater pad is disposed between the coated second surface of the glass substrate and a first side of the mirror back plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2016
    Assignee: DONNELLY CORPORATION
    Inventor: Mingtang Zhao
  • Patent number: 9274394
    Abstract: A multi-zone reflector having an opaque zone and a transflective zone. The reflector includes a supporting base, a lower reflecting layer disposed adjacent the supporting base, and an upper reflecting layer extending over the opacifying layer and the transflective zone of the reflector. The lower reflecting layer substantially completely covers the transflective zone, and the opacifying layer is disposed substantially outside the transflective zone adjacent to the lower reflecting layer. Over at least a portion of the transflective zone, the upper and lower reflecting layers have a common surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2016
    Assignee: GENTEX CORPORATION
    Inventors: George A. Neuman, Henry A. Luten, John S. Anderson, Jeffrey A. Forgette, Jeffrey N. Williams, Lansen M. Perron
  • Patent number: 9151880
    Abstract: Embodiments relate to mirrors having a reflective layer of or including silicon aluminum (e.g., SiAl). The mirrors may be first surface mirrors, or second surface mirrors. The SiAl layer may be provided between dielectric layers. The mirrors may be flat or bent in different instances, and may or may not be heat treated. In certain example instances, such mirrors may be used in interior residential, commercial, appliance, and/or other applications.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 6, 2015
    Assignees: Guardian do Brasil Vidros Planos Ltda., Guardian Industries Corp.
    Inventors: Afonso Kreling, Fabiola Ramos Torres, Juan Baillo Abreu, Willem Den Boer, Alexey Krasnov
  • Patent number: 9134466
    Abstract: Embodiments relate to mirrors having a reflective layer of or including silicon aluminum (e.g., SiAl). The mirrors may be first surface mirrors, or second surface mirrors. The mirrors may be flat or bent in different instances, and may or may not be heat treated. In certain example instances, such mirrors may be used in interior residential, commercial, appliance, and/or other applications.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 15, 2015
    Assignees: Guardian do Brasil Vidros Planos Ltda., Guardian Industries Corp.
    Inventors: Afonso Kreling, Fabiola Ramos Torres, Juan Baillo Abreu, Philip J. Lingle, Jean-Marc Lemmer, Willem Den Boer, Alexey Krasnov
  • Patent number: 9091896
    Abstract: The invention relates to a device (1) of the electrochromic type comprising successively a substrate (2), a reflection control coating (8), a laminating interlayer (10), a functional system (4) of the electrochromic type and a substrate (2). This particular arrangement of the laminating interlayer between the reflection control coating and the functional system and the choice of the refractive index and thickness of the reflection control coating are such that the saturation values of C* in the colorimetric system (L*, a*, b*) of the device in reflection are less than or equal to 10 for angles of incidence of 60° and 8° relative to the normal (N) to the outer face (6B) of the counter-substrate and that the absolute value of the difference between the value of C* at an angle of incidence of 8° and the value of C* at an angle of incidence of 60° is less than or equal to 6.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 28, 2015
    Assignee: SAGE ELECTROCHROMICS, INC.
    Inventors: Oliver Selles, Ingolf Ripberger, Philippe Letocart, Julien Orillard
  • Patent number: 9039210
    Abstract: A variable length light shield is disclosed for an electro-optical sensor within a nose cone. The light shield includes a base, a telescopic shade supported by the base, and a ring rotatably supported about the base. The light shield also includes a guide tube disposed proximate the ring with an end extending away from the ring about a side of the telescopic shade. The light shield further includes an extension spring supported by the guide tube with an end coupled to the telescopic shade. Additionally, the light shield includes a cable extending through the guide tube and the extension spring, with one end of the cable coupled to the ring and another end of the cable coupled to the telescopic shade. The extension spring is configured to exert a force on the telescopic shade to extend the telescopic shade. Rotation of the ring causes retraction of the telescopic shade.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 4, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventors: Gregory E. Longerich, William Owens, Richard J. Wright, David C. Robillard, Emerald J. Adair, Perry H. Frahm
  • Patent number: 9029907
    Abstract: An optoelectronic semiconductor component includes a radiation emitting semiconductor chip having a radiation coupling out area. Electromagnetic radiation generated in the semiconductor chip leaves the semiconductor chip via the radiation coupling out area. A converter element is disposed downstream of the semiconductor chip at its radiation coupling out area. The converter element is configured to convert electromagnetic radiation emitted by the semiconductor chip. The converter element has a first surface facing away from the radiation coupling out area. A reflective encapsulation encapsulates the semiconductor chip and portions of the converter element at side areas in a form-fitting manner. The first surface of the converter element is free of the reflective encapsulation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2015
    Assignee: Osram Opto Semiconductor GmbH
    Inventors: Gertrud Kräuter, Bernd Barchmann, Krister Bergenek, Michael Zitzlsperger, Johann Ramchen
  • Patent number: 8988758
    Abstract: A thermochromic window doped with a dopant and a method of manufacturing the same. The thermochromic window includes a substrate and a thermochromic thin film formed on the substrate. The thermochromic thin film has a thermochromic material doped with a dopant, the concentration of the dopant gradually decreasing in a depth direction from one surface of the upper surface and the undersurface of the thermochromic thin film. The thermochromic window has a high level of visible light transmittance and high phase change efficiency while having a low phase transition temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2015
    Assignee: Samsung Corning Precision Materials Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yong Won Choi, Yung-Jin Jung, Dong Gun Moon, Jee Yun Cha
  • Patent number: 8919971
    Abstract: The invention is related to an interior rear view mirror that is constructed by front plastic glass shaped in u-form and a mirror housing. The mirror comprises a second plastic glass which crate a inter glass space for a device which changes the reflectivity of the mirror.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2014
    Assignee: SMR Patents S.a.r.l.
    Inventors: Ulrich Bruhnke, Oliver Eder, Kurt Wilfinger
  • Patent number: 8864321
    Abstract: A controller or control method may be designed or configured to operate without information about the current temperature of the device and/or the device's environment. Further, in some cases, the controller or control method is designed or configured to control transition of an optical device to an intermediated state between two end states. For example, the controller may be configured to control a transition to a state of transmissivity that is intermediate between two end states of transmissivity. In such case, the device has three or more stable states of transmissivity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2014
    Assignee: View, Inc.
    Inventors: Disha Mehtani, Gordon Jack, Anshu Pradhan
  • Publication number: 20140268351
    Abstract: The embodiments described herein generally relate to a rearview mirror assembly for a vehicle. More particularly, they relate to a rearview mirror assembly including a switchable reflective element and a display. The switchable reflective element is a type that is selectively switchable between a reflective mode and a transmissive mode. The display is positioned behind the switchable reflective element for displaying images through the switchable reflective element when in the transmissive mode. The rearview mirror assembly may further include either an anti-reflection coating provided on at least one of the front and rear sides of the switchable reflective element, or first and second prisms provided on opposite sides of the switchable reflective element.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 14, 2014
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Applicant: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: John A. VanderPloeg, Mark A. VanVuuren, Ethan J. Lee
  • Publication number: 20140211317
    Abstract: A rearview mirror incorporates the use of electrochromic mirror glass capable of dimming via electronic controls. The electrochromic mirror glass dims when glare from vehicle driving aft of the motor vehicle impinge on the rearview mirror. The rearview mirror includes a control circuit with a single sensor. The sensor receives glare from aft and ambient light forward the motor vehicle. A light conductor guides light from the two directions. A sensor receives the light from the two directions and is able to discern between the glare light and the ambient light, by filtering the light received from each direction based on color. One color is received from one location and not from the other. The sensor is sensitive to wavelengths and can identify the magnitude of flux received in each color. This allows the interior rearview mirror to identify situations that are appropriate for dimming the electrochromic mirror glass.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 15, 2013
    Publication date: July 31, 2014
    Inventors: Rolf Thiel, Manfred Herrler
  • Patent number: 8779947
    Abstract: Vehicle-related messaging methods and systems are disclosed herein. In one of the methods, a telematics unit disposed in a vehicle detects that the vehicle is no longer in operation. Upon making the detection, the telematics unit automatically transmits a message to a device, where the message includes a suggestion, a recommendation, an indication, or a notification pertaining to a vehicle utility. An application resident on the device, or on a cloud computing system in communication with the device, presents the message on the device by displaying i) the suggestion, the recommendation, the indication, or the notification and ii) a plurality of actionable items associated with the suggestion, the recommendation, the indication, or the notification.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 5, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2014
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Steven C. Tengler, Mark S. Frye
  • Patent number: 8730551
    Abstract: The present invention relates to improved electro-optic rearview mirror elements and assemblies incorporating the same. Area of the effective field of view of the electro-optic mirror element substantially equals to that defined by the outermost perimeter of the element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2014
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: George A. Neuman, William L. Tonar, John S. Anderson, Henry A. Luten, David J. Cammenga, Juan C. Lara, Jeffrey A. Forgette
  • Patent number: 8717521
    Abstract: A reflective device wherein the device reflectivity is adjustable via automatic or manual means. The variable reflectance element includes a metallic mirror reflector on one side of a substrate and additional substrate layers consisting of a polarizer and a LCD whose material characteristics have been optimized for dimming. The mirror assembly provides alternate trigger mechanisms for initiating the dimming function, the dimming function being automatically referenced to ambient light levels (day or night) or manually adjusted or selected. In the automatic mode the dimming mirror assembly provides the user immediate eye protection from reflected high intensity glare by effecting near instantaneous adjustment in mirror reflectivity, such that the intensity of the reflected light impinging on the eyes is automatically adjusted so as to be at comfortable levels. The mirror assembly construction is in one piece, and allows the viewing of a display or TFT monitor located adjacent to the mirror.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2014
    Assignee: Rydeen North America, Inc.
    Inventor: Philip Maeda
  • Patent number: 8674285
    Abstract: A vehicle interior rearview mirror system includes an interior rearview mirror assembly having a reflective element and ambient and glare light sensors. A control circuit is operable to establish a reflectance level of the reflective element. At least one of (a) the mirror system includes a charge accumulation device selectively connected with the ambient or glare light sensor and the control circuit establishes the ambient and glare light levels as a function of time for an output of the charge accumulation device to reach a reference level when connected to the respective light sensor, (b) a common element is used to measure outputs of the light sensors sequentially to correspond errors due to component variations, and (c) the mirror system includes temperature compensation of the glare and/or ambient light sensor and the temperature compensation is responsive to a reference light sensor that is substantially not exposed to light.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2014
    Assignee: Donnelly Corporation
    Inventors: John P. Drummond, Kenneth Schofield
  • Patent number: 8642965
    Abstract: A stray light baffle for a seeker or other sensor system and a method for making the same are provided. The seeker, for example, may include a first receiver configured to receive an infrared signal, a second receiver configured to receive a radio frequency signal, a dichroic mirror configured to reflect the infrared signal toward the first receiver and to transmit the radio frequency signal toward the second receiver, and a stray light baffle having a coarse surface comprising a plurality of peaks and a plurality of valleys, wherein an average height of the plurality of peaks is greater than or equal to an average width of the plurality of valleys.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2014
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventors: Christopher L. Hernandez, Nicholas B. Saccketti, Jason R. Petty, Lawrence A. Westhoven, Jr.
  • Patent number: 8559092
    Abstract: The present invention relates to improved electro-optic rearview mirror elements and assemblies incorporating the same. Area of the effective field of view of the electro-optic mirror element substantially equals to that defined by the outermost perimeter of the element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2013
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: Mark D. Bugno, William L. Tonar, George A. Neuman, Danny L. Minikey, Jr., John S. Anderson, David L. Poll, Joel A. Stray, Bradley L. Busscher, Kenton J. Ypma
  • Patent number: 8545030
    Abstract: Anisotropic film laminates for use in image-preserving reflectors such as rearview automotive mirror assemblies, and related methods of fabrication. A film may comprise an anisotropic layer such as a light-polarizing layer and other functional layers. The film having controlled water content is heated under omnidirectional pressure and vacuum to a temperature substantially equal to or above a lower limit of a glass-transition temperature range of the film so as to be laminated to a substrate. The laminate is configured as part of a mirror structure so as to increase contrast of light produced by a light source positioned behind the mirror structure and transmitted through the mirror structure towards a viewer. The mirror structure is devoid of any extended distortion and is characterized by SW and LW values less than 3, more preferably less than 2, and most preferably less than 1.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2013
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: John S. Anderson, William L. Tonar, Henry A. Luten, George A. Neuman, Gary J. Dozeman, Tammy G. Morgan
  • Patent number: 8526094
    Abstract: The invention relates to a control device for at least one electrochromic window with—means for generating a charging current, to bring the window from a first state into a second state, wherein the window is darker in the second state than in the first state,—means for discharging the window, to bring the window from the second state into the first state, wherein the discharging of the window can be triggered by an emergency signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2013
    Assignee: SAGE Electrochromics, Inc.
    Inventor: Philippe Letocart
  • Patent number: 8511841
    Abstract: A vehicular blind spot indicator mirror includes a transparent glass substrate having a mirror reflector coated onto the substrate. Visible light reflectance by the mirror reflector coated substrate is at least about 40 percent visible light reflectance for visible light incident upon a front side of the mirror reflector coated substrate. A blind spot indicator light display is disposed to the rear of the mirror reflector coated substrate and emits visible light upon a detection by a blind spot detector. Light emitted by the display passes through the transparent glass substrate to be viewed by a viewer viewing from the front side of the substrate. The display is operable, when electrically powered and when operated in the vehicle during day time driving conditions, to exhibit a display luminance of at least about 60 foot lamberts as measured with the display placed behind, and emitting light through, the transparent glass substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 13, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2013
    Assignee: Donnelly Corporation
    Inventors: Desaraju V. Varaprasad, Hamid Habibi, Ian A. McCabe, Niall R. Lynam, Mingtang Zhao, Craig A. Dornan
  • Patent number: 8506096
    Abstract: A variable reflectance mirror reflective element includes a front substrate and a rear substrate and an electrochromic medium disposed therebetween, with no part of the rear substrate extending beyond any part of the front substrate. A mirror reflector is disposed at a third surface of the rear substrate and includes a stack of thin films having at least one metal thin film. A perimeter layer is disposed at a second surface of the front substrate proximate a perimeter edge of the front substrate and generally conceals the perimeter seal from view by a person viewing through the front substrate. Light that reflects off of the mirror reflector and passes through the electrochromic medium and the front substrate has a substantially untinted reflectant characteristic to a person viewing the mirror reflective element when no voltage is applied to the electrochromic medium.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2013
    Assignee: Donnelly Corporation
    Inventors: Ian A. McCabe, Hamid Habibi, Niall R. Lynam, Donald L. Bareman
  • Patent number: 8433456
    Abstract: A system and method for controlling power windows of a vehicle includes a receiver mounted on the vehicle for receiving an open window request signal wirelessly from a portable device, at least one exterior condition sensor mounted on the vehicle for detecting an adverse exterior condition relative to the vehicle, and a controller mounted on the vehicle for communicating with the receiver and the at least one exterior condition sensor. The controller commands opening of the one or more power windows when the receiver receives the open window request signal provided the at least one exterior condition sensor does not detect an adverse exterior condition relative to the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2013
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: David G. Peterson, Brian K. Lickfelt, John Sgueglia, Trevor Scott Whitten
  • Patent number: 8304711
    Abstract: An interior rearview mirror system for a vehicle includes an interior rearview mirror assembly having a reflective element and ambient and glare light sensors. A control circuit is operable to establish a reflectance level of the reflective element. At least one of (a) the mirror system includes a charge accumulation device selectively connected with the ambient or glare light sensor and the control circuit establishes the ambient and glare light levels as a function of time for an output of the charge accumulation device to reach a reference level when connected to the respective light sensor, (b) a common element is used to measure outputs of the light sensors sequentially to correspond errors due to component variations, and (c) the mirror system includes temperature compensation of the glare and/or ambient light sensor and the temperature compensation is responsive to a reference light sensor that is substantially not exposed to light.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 20, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2012
    Assignee: Donnelly Corporation
    Inventors: John P. Drummond, Kenneth Schofield
  • Patent number: 8282224
    Abstract: Anisotropic film laminates for use in image-preserving reflectors such as rearview automotive mirror assemblies, and related methods of fabrication. A film may comprise an anisotropic layer such as a light-polarizing layer and other functional layers. The film having controlled water content is heated under omnidirectional pressure and vacuum to a temperature substantially equal to or above a lower limit of a glass-transition temperature range of the film so as to be laminated to a substrate. The laminate is configured as part of a mirror structure so as to increase contrast of light produced by a light source positioned behind the mirror structure and transmitted through the mirror structure towards a viewer. The mirror structure is devoid of any extended distortion and is characterized by SW and LW values less than 3, more preferably less than 2, and most preferably less than 1.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2012
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: John S. Anderson, William L. Tonar, Henry A. Luten, George A. Neuman, Gary J. Dozeman, Tammy G. Morgan
  • Patent number: 8246183
    Abstract: An interior rearview mirror assembly for a vehicle includes a prismatic reflective element with an attachment plate attached thereto, and a display-on-demand display disposed behind the prismatic reflective element and operable to display information for viewing through a transflective mirror reflector of the prismatic reflective element by a driver of the vehicle. A mounting assembly is configured to mount the mirror assembly to an interior portion of the vehicle. The mounting assembly includes a toggle portion and an actuator, with the toggle portion pivotally mounting to a first mounting member and the actuator pivotally mounting to a second mounting member of the attachment plate. An electronic circuitry element is attached to the attachment plate and an accessory pod is attached to the mounting assembly and includes circuitry therein. The circuitry of the accessory pod is electrically connected to the electronic circuitry element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 21, 2012
    Assignee: Donnelly Corporation
    Inventors: Jerry M. Kulas, Lee Karner, Dean Andreozzi
  • Patent number: 8203440
    Abstract: A vehicular vision system includes a photosensor array having a forward field of view to the exterior of the vehicle through the windshield of the vehicle. A portion of the photosensor array captures image data representative of an item of interest exterior the vehicle and within the forward field of view. A control is responsive to an output of the photosensor array and includes an image processor for processing the image data. At least responsive to the control analyzing the image data, the image sensing system senses the presence of an object within the field of view of the photosensor array, and the image sensing system, responsive at least in part to sensing the presence of the object, at least one of (i) controls a vehicle system using forward field of view information and (ii) supplements control of a vehicle system using forward field of view information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2012
    Assignee: Donnelly Corporation
    Inventors: Kenneth Schofield, Mark L. Larson
  • Patent number: 8179586
    Abstract: A rearview mirror assembly includes an electrochromic reflective element having a front substrate and a rear substrate and an electrochromic medium sandwiched therebetween. The reflective element includes a resin material disposed at least at a portion of a fourth surface of the rear substrate. While the resin material is in its uncured state at the rear substrate, an electrical connector is engaged with the uncured resin material. The electrical connector is electrically conductively connected with the resin material and is substantially affixed at the fourth surface of the rear substrate via curing of the resin material while the electrical connector is engaged with the resin material. The electrical connector may establish electrical conductivity between the cured resin material and one of (i) a transparent electrically conductive coating at the second surface of the front substrate and (ii) a mirror reflector at the third surface of the rear substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2012
    Assignee: Donnelly Corporation
    Inventors: Kenneth Schofield, David C. Wight, Mark E. Kramer
  • Patent number: 8162493
    Abstract: A vehicular interior rearview mirror assembly includes a circuit board disposed in a mirror casing rearward of a reflective element. A plurality of light emitting diodes is mounted to the circuit board for providing backlighting for a display element disposed rearward of the reflective element. With at least some of the light emitting diodes electrically actuated to emit light, light emitted by actuated light emitting diodes passes through the display element and through a partially transmissive and significantly reflective region of the reflective element for viewing of displayed information by the driver of the vehicle. Individual light emitting diodes are aligned with respective openings through a light reflecting element disposed between the circuit board and the display element. To the driver of the vehicle viewing the reflective element, the presence of the display element is substantially not apparent until at least one of the light emitting diodes is actuated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2012
    Assignee: Donnelly Corporation
    Inventors: Timothy G. Skiver, Joseph P. McCaw, John T. Uken, Jonathan E. DeLine, Niall R. Lynam
  • Patent number: 8106347
    Abstract: A vehicular interior rearview mirror system includes an interior rearview mirror assembly, which includes an ambient light sensor operable to sense ambient light and a glare light sensor operable to sense glare light. A control is operable to establish a reflectance level of a transflective electrochromic reflective element of the mirror assembly and is responsive to light detection by the ambient light sensor and/or the glare light sensor. A backlit video screen is disposed behind the reflective element and is operable to display information through the mirror reflector of the reflective element. A display intensity control adjusts display intensity responsive to a light detection by the glare light sensor and/or the ambient light sensor and as a function of a ratio of a glare light value sensed by the glare light sensor to an ambient light value sensed by the ambient light sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 31, 2012
    Assignee: Donnelly Corporation
    Inventors: John P. Drummond, Kenneth Schofield
  • Patent number: 8102498
    Abstract: The present invention provides a liquid crystal display device realizing improved reliability by preventing occurrence of a pixel defect. A liquid crystal display includes first and second substrates. A spacer maintains a distance between the first and second glass substrates. A liquid crystal layer is provided between the first and second substrates. A pixel electrode film and a common electrode film are formed over a base insulation film of the first substrate so as to sandwich a pixel insulation film in between. The common electrode film, the pixel electrode film or both of them are partly removed in a region corresponding to the spacer, and the pixel insulation film is partly removed in that region. It prevents the film structure from being broken due to deformation of the base insulation film made of a soft material caused by a pressure applied onto the spacer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 24, 2012
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Yasuhiro Kanaya, Keiichi Yagi
  • Publication number: 20110299170
    Abstract: A variable reflectance rearview mirror reflective element assembly includes a front substrate having a first surface and a second surface, and a rear substrate having a third surface and a fourth surface, with the third surface having a conductive coating disposed thereat. A perimeter seal is disposed between and spaces apart the front and rear substrates and forms an interpane cavity therebetween. The perimeter seal has a gap between terminal ends thereof to provide a fill port for the mirror reflective element assembly when the front and rear substrates are mated together. A filter element is disposed at the fill port at least during a cavity filling process, and the filter element allows an electro-optic medium to flow therethrough during the cavity filling process and limits passage of debris, contaminants and/or particles to limit intrusion of debris, contaminants and/or particles into the interpane cavity during the cavity filling process.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 3, 2011
    Publication date: December 8, 2011
    Applicant: MAGNA MIRRORS OF AMERICA, INC.
    Inventors: Jeffrey D. Harlow, Michael J. Baur
  • Publication number: 20110266419
    Abstract: Methods and systems are provided for adjusting a reflectance of a mirror of a vehicle. A first sensor measures an ambient light condition outside the vehicle. A second sensor measures a glare from the mirror. A controller identifies a characteristic of the vehicle, and adjusts the reflectance of the mirror based on the characteristic, the ambient light condition, and the glare.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 3, 2010
    Publication date: November 3, 2011
    Applicant: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS, INC.
    Inventors: NIGEL G. JONES, NICHOLAS P. NAGRANT
  • Patent number: 8004739
    Abstract: The invention relates to a control device for at least one electrochromic window (100, 100.1, 100.2, 100?, . . . ) with means (106, 108) for generating a charging current, to bring the window from a first state into a second state, wherein the window is darker in the second state than in the first state, means (112, 116) for discharging the window, to bring the window from the second state into the first state, wherein the discharging of the window can be triggered by an emergency signal (S1, S2).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2011
    Assignee: Saint-Gobain Glass France
    Inventor: Philippe Letocart
  • Publication number: 20110194185
    Abstract: A mirror element comprising a front element, a rear element, electrochromic material therebetween, and a spotter optic located at the rear surface of the front element. At least a portion of the spotter optic has a first radius of curvature and at least a portion of the front surface of the front element has a greater second radius of curvature. A line perpendicular to the front surface extends through both the electrochromic material and the spotter optic. A first electrode coating and a second electrode coating are activated to activate the electrochromic material in order to dim a reflection off of the mirror element. A reflective coating of the spotter optic can form a portion of the first electrode coating. The first electrode coating and the reflective coating can overlap.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 4, 2011
    Publication date: August 11, 2011
    Inventors: David J. Cammenga, Brian J. Steenwyk, Michael L. McLarty, Randall S. Braun
  • Publication number: 20110188122
    Abstract: An exterior mirror reflective element for a vehicular exterior rearview mirror assembly includes a front glass substrate having a transparent conductive coating established at a second surface thereof and a rear glass substrate having a metallic reflector coating established at a third surface thereof, with an electro-optic medium disposed between the second surface of the front glass substrate and the third surface of the rear glass substrate. An electrically conductive clip is disposed along and bridges a perimeter edge of the rear glass substrate to establish electrically conductive connection to the metallic reflector coating at the third surface of the rear glass substrate. A solder joint is established at the electrically conductive clip, and the solder is decoupled from the metallic reflector coating at the third surface of the rear glass substrate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 3, 2011
    Publication date: August 4, 2011
    Applicant: MAGNA MIRRORS OF AMERICA, INC.
    Inventors: Hamid Habibi, Michael J. Baur
  • Patent number: 7988308
    Abstract: A control system for one or more electrochromic elements used in an outside electrochromic (OEC) mirror used in automobiles or other vehicular applications, to control the glare of both IEC elements used as a rearview mirror (20) as well as the OEC elements (24, 26) used as sideview mirrors (24, 26). An ambient light sensor (129) and glare sensor (133) operate to determine a glare level used to control both IEC and OEC electrochromic elements. The drive circuits for the OEC's elements may be controlled so as to account for various factors such as tinted glass characteristics in the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2011
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: Robert R. Turnbull, Michael T. Dillane, Robert C. Knapp, Darin D. Tuttle