A 14-year-old girl has come up with an invention designed to eliminate the blind spots in your car.
Alaina Gassler from Pennsylvania in the US has managed to make a car’s A-pillars appear invisible by displaying what’s happening in the blind spot on the pillar itself.
She said she came up with the idea when she noticed how much her mom hated driving the family’s Jeep Grand Cherokee because of its huge pillars.
“There are so many car accidents and injuries and deaths that could’ve been prevented from a pillar not being there,” she said.
“And since we can’t take it off cars, I decided to get rid of it without getting rid of it.”
So how exactly did she do it?
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Gassler attached a webcam to the outside of the car and then mounted a projector on the roof inside the car to project the image from the webcam onto the pillar.
And to make the image brighter and more realistic, she covered the A-pillar with retroreflective fabric.
The fabric also works to reflect the image to only the driver of the car, not its passengers.
Blind spots in cars are annoying, yes, but they’re also incredibly dangerous.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, blind spots cause more than 840,000 car accidents, resulting in 300 deaths each year in the US.
The 14-year-old won the $25,000 Samueli Foundation prize for her prototype.
The prize is the top award in North America’s premier science and engineering competition for middle school students.
She said she was completely shocked when she won the award.
“I had confidence that I might win one of the STEM category prizes because I felt like I did well in the engineering category, but once they reached the announcement for the top prize, I was out of hope,” she told CNN.
“When my name was called, I started shaking so much because I was so excited.”
Gassler plans to further fine-tune her idea and pitch it to companies like Tesla.
So, what do you think, Elon?