Teen blind spots for cars, wins $25,000 prize for vehicle blindspot
A 14-year-old girl from Chester County has been awarded $25,000 for a science and engineering project that may provide a solution to the danger of blindspot-related car accidents.
Alaina Gassler is an eighth grade student at Avon Grove Charter School in West Grove, where she developed a method for projecting a live image of the view obstructed by the portion of a vehicle’s frame, commonly known as a driver’s blindspot. The image of what is behind the blindspot is projected onto the blindspot, itself, creating the illusion that the car’s frame is invisible.
Here’s what it looks like in action:
Gassler entered her project into the 2019 Broadcom MASTERS competition, a collaboration between the non-profit Broadcom Foundation and the Society for Science & the Public.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates about 840,000 blindspot accidents occur in the United States each year, resulting in about 300 deaths.
The system Gassler developed uses an exterior-mounted camera on the car’s structural pillar that relays images onto a custom-fitted projection inside the car.
She explains the project, called “Improving Automobile Safety by Removing Blind Spots,” in the video below.