Blind spots are a huge problem in automobiles. By obscuring the driver’s view, these obstructed areas cause vehicle accidents and even death. Inspired by her own mother's struggle with this seemingly unavoidable feature, 14-year-old Alaina Gassler offers a solution with her award-winning science fair project. Called “Improving Automobile Safety by Removing Blind Spots,” the teen created a way to make the thick “A” pillars on a car appear invisible and reveal what’s going on behind them. Doing this provides a full and comprehensive view of the road.
So, how does Gassler’s project work? The ingenious solution uses relatively inexpensive tools as well as technology that you can find at your conventional electronics store. This includes an outward-facing webcam, which is attached to the exterior of the vehicle’s windshield pillar. The camera, along with a projector, emits a live feed of outside activity onto the inside of the pillar, and the image is in perfect alignment with the post. Doing this required Gassler to create custom 3D-printed parts, but her effort was well worth it. The effect is a seamless blend of what you see from the windows and what's just out of your line of sight.
Gassler presented her project at the 2019 Society for Science and Public’s Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology, and Engineering for Rising Stars) competition. There, she took home its top honor, the $25,000 Samueli Foundation Prize.
“Congratulations to Alaina, whose project has the potential to decrease the number of automobile accidents by reducing blind spots,” said Maya Ajmera, President and CEO of the Society for Science & the Public and Publisher of Science News. “With so many challenges in our world, Alaina and her fellow Broadcom MASTERS finalists make me optimistic. I am proud to lead an organization that is inspiring so many young people, especially girls, to continue to innovate.”
14-year-old Alaina Gassler created an award-winning science fair project that eliminates blind spots in cars. Watch it in action:
Learn more about the teen, who took the top $25,000 prize, in the video below:
h/t: [Boing Boing]