News Column

Patent Issued for Instrument for a Motor Vehicle

August 19, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Technology -- GM Global Technology Operations LLC (Detroit, MI) has been issued patent number 8794776, according to news reporting originating out of Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews editors.

The patent's inventors are Brandt, Peter (Aschaffenburg, DE); Charle, Heiko (Ruesselsheim, DE); Demma, Dino (Ruesselsheim, DE).

This patent was filed on April 5, 2012 and was published online on August 5, 2014.

From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "The publication DE 101 02 774 A1 a display device, in particular for a vehicle, is known in this respect. This display device comprises a partially light-permeable display area and an illumination device for backlighting the display area. The backlighting comprises a light conductor, which extends on the back of the display area. The laterally light can be coupled into the light conductor. The light conductor conducts light to the display area via total reflection. A reflective coating is applied to the smooth surface side of the light conductor facing away from the display area in individual locations.

"In order to illuminate a display symbol with the help of a light conductor body, a reflective coating is applied to a smooth surface of the light conductor body in the form of the display symbol in places with display symbol, so that the light radiation conducted through the light conductor body by means of total reflection illuminates the display symbol in a back-lit manner on the reflective coating.

"At least one object is to provide an instrument for a motor vehicle with a light conductor panel that is not only used as back illumination but can also serve for a spatial display of symbols. In addition, other objects, desirable features and characteristics will become apparent from the subsequent summary and detailed description, and the appended claims, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings and this background."

Supplementing the background information on this patent, VerticalNews reporters also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "In an embodiment, an instrument for a motor vehicle is described. The instrument comprises a display area and a housing, which surrounds the display area. A transparent instrument covering is held spaced from the display area by the housing. The instrument covering is a transparent light conductor panel in which a symbol display area is arranged. The light conductor panel comprises light-diffusing Nano-particles in its volume in the symbol display area.

"Such an instrument covering brings with it the advantage that with normal driving operation parameters, normal operating equipment states and with unproblematic road traffic conditions the view of the display area of the instrument is possible in an unobstructed manner through the instrument covering consisting of a transparent light conductor panel despite the light-diffusing Nano particles that are present in the instrument covering in the symbol display areas, since these light-diffusing Nano particles remain invisible when looking through normally.

"Only when light from marginal sides of the light conductor falls onto the Nano particles will these be illuminated in a light-diffusing manner. Display symbols pointing out critical road traffic situations or critical operating equipment states or critical driving operation parameters in the symbol display area, which because of a marginal illumination device of the instrument covering, are illuminated brightly and can warn the driver.

"Since on a vehicle or on an instrument panel, a plurality of instruments present a situation in which it is possible to provide different symbol displays. Thus, for example the instrument covering of a tachometer can cause a warning symbol to be illuminated when a critical engine rotational speed is exceeded. In an instrument covering of a speed measuring instrument a periodic flashing of the permissible speed limit can, for example, be provided in the symbol display area of the instrument covering of the speed measuring instrument for driving through towns when the usual town drive-through limit is exceeded.

"It is also possible in a further embodiment that the symbol display area comprises warning signs in the form of traffic sign symbols. Thus, for example when turning into a one-way street in the wrong direction, the warning sign of the driving direction prohibition can light up in the symbol display area. In the case of large-area instrument coverings, different symbols can also be illuminated next to or on top of one another in adjacent symbol display areas through marginal introduction of light, so that practically on an instrument panel with a plurality of instruments for example the most important traffic sign symbols such as 'stop', 'yield', 'no waiting', 'no stopping' and similar support the driver in interaction with a suitably equipped navigation system in order to securely and reliably operate his vehicle even in unfamiliar city traffic.

"In a further embodiment it is provided that the symbol display area comprises outer contours and the light conductor panel recess contours. In order to provide a closed instrument covering, the outer contours of the symbol display area are connected to the recess contours of the light conductor panel in a materially joined manner. With this fitting of outer contours of the symbol display area into recess contours of the light conductor panel it is possible to integrate any symbols in symbol display areas of the instrument covering.

"In order to make such symbols visible, the light conductor panel comprises a margin that is coupled to an illumination device. Only when the illumination device is switched on and light is fed into the margin of the light conductor panel can the prepared symbols now light up also in color in the symbol display areas because of the now active light-diffusing Nano particles and depending on the color of the light source of the illumination device. Here, it can be possible that the light from switchable colored light sources can be coupled into the margin of the instrument covering and causes the Nano particles to light up in a light-diffusing manner in color in the symbol display area, so that via the coloring such as green, yellow or red, different danger states can also be signaled.

"To this end, the illumination device comprises at least one light source. The light of the light source can be coupled into the margin of the instrument covering and causes the Nano particles in the (Polymethylmethacryl) plastic, which for the symbol display area, is provided with suitable light-diffusing Nano particles.

"Since the attachment of light sources directly in the region of the margin of the light conductor panel is frequently difficult for space reasons, it is provided to arrange at least one light conductor between the light source and the margin. The light source in this case can comprise a light-emitting diode, which on a first end of a light conductor couples in light. The free light conductor end can be materially connected to the margin of the light conductor panel. With the material connection it is advantageous to provide a transparent adhesive matched to the refractive index of light conductor and light conductor panel in order to keep reflection losses between the light conductor panel and the light conductor end as small as possible.

"In order to achieve coupling of the light into the instrument covering that is as free of loss or free of reflection as possible, the margin of the instrument cover can be bent down at least partially to an end of the light conductor and coupled to the light conductor end. The bent marginal region of the light conductor panel can additionally have a mirror coating in order to minimize light or illumination losses here as well.

"In another embodiment it is provided that the margin of the instrument covering comprises an angular chamfer having a mirror coating. On this chamfered margin the light conductor, with respect to the light conductor panel, can be orthogonally guided up to the instrument covering so that the light exiting from the light conductor end enters the chamfered margin of the light conductor panel where it is reflected in the direction of the volume of the light conductor panel.

"A further possibility of causing the Nano particles in the symbol display area of the light conductor panel to be illuminated in a light-diffusing manner is to provide an illumination ring of a material of the light conductor panel, which surrounds the margin of the instrument covering and comprises a higher concentration of light-diffusing Nano particles than the symbol display area.

"In order to amplify the effect of such an illumination ring, the illumination ring can have a mirror coating on its surfaces. This inner annular surface with which the illumination ring contacts the margin of the light conductor panel remains free of any mirror finish. In addition, the inner edge of the illumination ring can be connected to the margin of the light conductor panel in a materially joined manner, so that in turn free of reflection the light diffused in the illumination ring conducts light diffused with high intensity on the light-diffusing Nano particles arranged in high concentration there through the light conductor panel to the symbol display area. The end of the light source can be coupled to such an illumination ring tangentially and thus advantageously in a space-saving manner. The tangential coupling makes possible a non-critical curvature radius for the light conductor, so that the light conductor can follow the outer radius of the instrument housing.

"An instrument panel can be equipped with a plurality of such individual instruments and comprise corresponding instrument coverings. In addition, a motor vehicle in turn can comprise such an instrument panel and thus utilize the advantages of such instruments subject to the increase of the road traffic safety."

For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Brandt, Peter; Charle, Heiko; Demma, Dino. Instrument for a Motor Vehicle. U.S. Patent Number 8794776, filed April 5, 2012, and published online on August 5, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8794776.PN.&OS=PN/8794776RS=PN/8794776

Keywords for this news article include: GM Global Technology Operations LLC.

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2014, NewsRx LLC


For more stories covering the world of technology, please see HispanicBusiness' Tech Channel



Source: Journal of Technology


Story Tools






HispanicBusiness.com Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters