Alaina Gassler has turned our blind spots into her vision, creating a solution for the front A-pillar blind spot in cars.
Her clever use of webcams, projectors and custom 3D printed parts, projects an image of what is going on behind the A-pillar onto the blind spot itself, which has the potential to reduce incidents on the road. Reducing blind spots in this way means the driver doesn’t need to check an extra mirror and they can just see as though it is part of their regular windscreen and without distractions.
Gassler’s invention was her part of the project called “Improving Automobile Safety by Removing Blind Spots,” and she presented it this year at the Society for Science and the Public’s Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology, and Engineering for Rising Stars) science and engineering competition.
Alaina Gassler took home the top prize and honor, the $25,000 Samueli Foundation Prize. Her innovation of a webcam on the outside of the A-pillar that projects from over the driver’s head onto the inside of the car is a real step up from the current wing mirror technology that warns drivers with blips on the mirror, but cannot show them what’s going on.
Now she has engineered and created her prototype using what cheap and available parts she could acquire, she plans to use her prize money to utilize LED screens for brightness and daytime adjustments, and get patents to begin designing in earnest. Her project is called “Improving Automobile Safety by Removing Blind Spots” and work in a relatively simple way as she explained: “I did that by having a camera behind the a-pillar of a car and the camera sent the video to a projector that projected the image onto the pillar essentially making it invisible and making the driver see behind it.”
It looks like the next step in a panoramic style windshield to us, making driving all the more enjoyable. What do you think? Would you consider this an excellent bonus to have as a feature in your next car?