The pillars on the sides of cars are continuing to become thicker. Therefore, a 14-year old has come up with a solution to help drivers increase their field of vision.
These pillars are essential to prevent vehicles from toppling over or falling apart. However, they can enable potentially dangerous situations on the road. When turning or switching lanes, these pillars can block drivers from seeing other cars, bikes, or even pedestrians passing by. However, a teenager named Alaina Gassler has proposed a fix to the issue.
The Verge reports that the innovator placed a webcam on the outside of the pillar on the passenger side of her family’s Jeep Grand Cherokee. Subsequently, she used a small projector to show the outside footage live, onto the inside of the pillar. Furthermore, Gassler used a 3D printer to make a component for the projector, to make the image have greater clarity. The pillar was also lined with what appears to be a retroreflective fabric, which only reflects the image back to the person driving.
The result of the creation can be seen in the below video.
This clever contraption helped Gassler win the 2019 Samueli Foundation Prize. As part of the competition, she also won $25,000. The West Grove, Pennsylvania native explained the process in the video below.
Gassler is now working on technology to improve on the prototype. She hopes to work on the camera’s stability and will implement LCD screens for better visibility.
Meanwhile, car manufacturers are also looking at ways to improve visibility when it comes to pillars. The structures often hold airbags, meaning that careful consideration needs to be applied when customizing them. Car firm continental shared that the screens of its vehicles could split to allow the airbags through. However, this could take years to even test out.
Therefore, for now, Gassler’s innovation looks to be a reasonable solution. However, before going to the market, it would have to go through legal reviews to make sure it doesn’t clash with any laws.
Changes could be happening
There may be plenty of revolutions in car manufacturing during the next decade. Recently, a patent document may have leaked details on the rumored Apple Car. The files hint that the company is currently working on a complex lighting system. This will encompass the embedding of lenses, LED lights, and an array of fiber optics.
Tesla has also been working on measures to improve navigation for its customers and give them greater power. Overall, it looks like new technologies will have a greater presence when it comes to everyday driving.
What do you think of this blind spot fix by Gassler? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.