Could this elementary engineering project eliminate blind spots in cars?

Simple but effective
by Drei Laurel | Nov 4, 2019

Sometimes, the solution to a problem is a lot simpler than you think. Here’s proof that it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to come up with a quick fix: An eighth-grade student in the US has devised a way to eliminate blind spots in cars, using nothing but a webcam, a projector, and a little ingenuity.

The YouTube video you see above is eighth-grader Alaina Gassler’s 2019 Science and Engineering Fair project in Avon Grove Charter School, Pennsylvania.

“Many car accidents are caused by drivers not being able to see hazards due to blind spots. My prototype is designed to get rid of those blind spots by displaying an image of the area behind them onto the spot,” Gassler’s abstract reads.

“I used a small projector as the displaying device and a webcam as the recording device.  The webcam is mounted onto the outside of the car, and the projector displays the image [onto] the A-pillar of the car.  To help the image become brighter and clearer, I used a reflective fabric that reflects the picture only to the driver.

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“This prototype has the potential to greatly reduce blind-spot-related car accidents.”

By the looks of the results, Gassler has come up with an effective solution to a common problem. Admittedly, it could use a little polishing (chances are there are some safety concerns with having a bright projector lighting up the interior of a vehicle), but even today’s most advanced tech had to start somewhere, right?

What do you think of this project? Is there potential here?

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PHOTO: Paul Gassler
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