The pillars on each side of the car that protect the car from collapsing in case it rolls over but the size of these pillars is increasing and it leads to pretty significant blind spots. A 14-year-old girl named Alaina Gassler has found a possible way to fix this problem.
As displayed in her prototype: To fill in the blind sports, she placed a webcam on the outside of the pillar on the passenger side and used a small projector to display the live feed onto the inside of the pillar. She 3D printed a component for the projector to make the image clearer and lined the pillar with what sounds like a retroreflective fabric — it only reflects the image back to the driver, according to the description on a video demonstrating the fix.
The Result: An uninterrupted field of view
She tested out the prototype with her father on her family’s Jeep Grand Cherokee, which has large pillars. “I wanted to find a way to get rid of them, and my older brother, Carter, just started to drive, so it was a big safety concern,” she told Popular Mechanics.
Her innovation is commendable but it still needs improvements as seen in the video above, the image from the camera is shaky and the projection doesn’t blend in perfectly with the view. She said that her next prototype will use LCD screens, for better visibility in daylight — an issue that came up with the projection.
Her innovation was awarded the prestigious $25,000 Samueli Foundation Prize by Broadcom Foundation and Society for Science & the Public in which she was selected from the list of 30 students from 13 states of the country.