Teen blind spots for cars, wins $25,000 prize for vehicle blindspot

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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.

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Here’s what it looks like in action:

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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.

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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.

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