Teen’s Blind Spot-Eliminating Prototype Nets $25,000 Award
Blind spots are a danger zone for every driver. Changing lanes and not being able to really see if a vehicle is there or not is not an ideal maneuver for anyone’s safety. To help eliminate the “blind spot” in a driver’s blind spot, automakers have created monitoring systems and technologies that are standard or available elements in modern cars. And now a 14-year-old inventor has tackled the blind spot problem by creating a blind spot-eliminating prototype that netted her the $25,000 Samueli Foundation Prize.
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According to CNN reporter Alaa Elassar, Alaina Gassler was first inspired to address the danger blind spots cause when her mom felt uneasy driving due to her vehicle’s A-pillar, which obstructed her view when changing lanes. She was further motivated to do something after learning more about blind spots and their impact on drivers and when her brother started to drive.
“There are so many car accidents and injuries and deaths that could’ve been prevented from a pillar not being there,” Gassler said in her Society for Science video. “And since we can’t take it off cars, I decided to get rid of it without getting rid of it.”
Gassler’s prototype is designed to effectively make a vehicle’s A-pillar disappear by combining four components — a webcam, projector, 3D printed adapter, and retroreflective fabric, reports Elassar.
“When I did research, I found out that there are more than 840,000 blind spot related car accidents per year just in the U.S., which made this project significantly more important to me” she told CNN.
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News Source: CNN
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