Alaina Gassler, a 14-year-old girl from West Grove, Pennsylvania, devised a way to eliminate these blind spots, which is based on technology available to everyone and that is relatively cheap. This is an invention that made her win $ 25,000 after beating 80,000 students in a national science competition in the United States.
Although some manufacturers are already working on solutions that would end blind spots in cars, today they are still a headache for those who have to drive daily. For those who do not know what we are talking about, blind spots are those areas that are blocked by the pillars of a car, which means that the driver does not have a 100% view of their surroundings and can cause an accident.
She doesn’t even know how to drive and she already solved one of the big design problems in cars.
According to Ford figures, in the United States there are more than 840,000 car accidents each year related to blind spots. However, today there is no perfect solution for the industry to end this design problem.
Alaina’s invention is nothing of the other world, but it is a sample of how the use of basic technology can serve in different scenarios and also do it in an extremely effective way. What Alaina did was to use a webcam, a projector, some 3D printed parts and reflective fabrics.
The webcam was placed on the pillar, outside the car on the roof, pointing directly to the area behind the pillar. The projector was installed inside the car to transmit the image captured by the camera outside. Subsequently, the 3D printed parts serve to align the image exactly between the window and the windshield. And finally, cover the pillar with the reflective fabric, which made the image clearer and brighter for the driver.
With all this installation it seems that the pillar is transparent and works even with the car in motion, the problem is that it does not work with rain and the webcam may not support extreme temperatures. The advantage of this system is that it can be installed both in the back and in the front, all that is needed is to align the image of the projector and the camera.
Alaina’s invention was dubbed “Improving car safety by eliminating blind spots,” and was presented at the science and engineering competition of the Broadcom MASTERS Society for Science and Public (Math, Applied Science, Technology, and Engineering for Rising Stars).
Alaina’s idea is that her project evolve and even flexible screens can be used on the pillars where it is projected on the image that is outside, this using hidden cameras mounted on the structure of the vehicle.
Alaina does not seek to create a company, but to sell her idea to a company or manufacturer, and is currently targeting Tesla.
“Tesla is always looking for the future in their cars and I feel that my project would be something they would be interested in” she said.