Teen solves vehicle blind spot issue using webcam and projector


Bottom line: Short-throw projectors and discrete cameras already exist to allow automakers to implement the idea in upcoming models. It’ll be largely up to them to determine how quickly they want to act – if at all. Such a system would no doubt add a bit more to the overall cost of a vehicle but I’m willing to bet that consumers would eat up this sort of tech and safety enhancement.

The blind spot created by a vehicle’s A-pillar – the thick supports on either side of your windshield – is an issue that has plagued automakers and frustrated drivers for decades. Now thanks to the ingenuity of one teenager, the safety hazard may soon be a thing of the past.

Alaina Gassler, a 14-year-old inventor from West Grove, Pennsylvania, recently came up with a clever solution for a national science fair. The teen attached a webcam to the outside of the A-pillar which is used to pipe a live video stream to a projector that projects the image onto the A-pillar. Using custom 3D-printed parts, she was able to line the projection up perfectly on the A-pillar, essentially making it “invisible” by providing the driver with a live view of what’s going on in the blind spot.

Gassler’s project was presented at the Society for Science and the Public’s Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering for Rising Stars) science and engineering competition where it took home top honors.


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