Every driver is familiar with the dreaded blind spot problem. However, it is more than just an annoyance. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 840,000 car accidents occur due to the blind spot. Those zones which cannot be directly observed by the driver often causes incidents that result in serious property damage and in some cases even fatalities. While drivers can take precautions such as adjusting the driver’s seat and side mirrors properly, installing backup cameras and so on, they won’t eliminate the invisible spots completely. Therefore, the driver will always have to carry the responsibility of being constantly aware of blinds spots as failing to do that can lead to accidents.
Luckily, now there’s a solution for that and it comes from a 14-year-old girl, who doesn’t even have a driver’s license yet.
However, not being able to drive didn’t prevent Alaina Gassler from understanding the important issue of traffic accidents resulting from blind spots.
In fact, she knows the problem so well, that she actually solved it for us. And the way she did it is nothing but genius.
Earlier this week, Alaina Gassler from West Grove, Pennsylvania presented her invention at the Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology, and Engineering for Rising Stars) competition for middle schoolers from the Society for Science and the Public.
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.”
To complete this invention, she used easily attainable materials such as a webcam, projector, and 3D-printed materials that project the view from outside your vehicle onto the blind spots of your car.
Gassler was awarded for her life-saving invention. It earned her the top place in a nationwide competition with the $25,000 Samueli Foundation Prize in honor of overall STEM excellence.