14-year old girl finds a solution for A-pillar blind spots

14-year old Alaina Gassler has won the US$ 25,000 Samueli Foundation Prize for her project which removes A-pillar blind spots. Called “Improving Automobile Safety by Removing Blind Spots”, her project was submitted at the Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology, and Engineering for Rising Stars) competition.

To remove blind spots caused by the A-pillar, Gassler placed a webcam outside the car on A-pillar, which fed live images to a projector placed just above the driver's head. The projector projects the image on to the A-pillar, which is lined with a retro reflective fabric. It is said that the material reflects the light back to the light source. As the projector is placed close to the driver, the driver can clearly see the image on the A-Pillar. The driver gets an uninterrupted view of the other side of the A-pillar while the passenger only sees the fabric.

The prototype was tested on her family’s Jeep Grand Cherokee. Future prototypes are expected to use LCD displays to improve visibility during the day.

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