The blind spot that occurs when sitting in the driver’s seat of a car is wider than expected. This is the reason why traffic accidents that occur frequently due to overlooked pedestrians or bicycles overlapping with squares. A simple but innovative system developed by a 14-year-old girl to eliminate such car blind spots is a hot topic.
These days automobiles have a structure that uses window posts to increase collision safety and rigidity. However, the A-pillar located between the windshield and the side window creates a blind spot by obscuring the diagonal view in front of the driver. At first glance, the A-pillar isn’t thick enough to obstruct your vision and I don’t think it will significantly affect driving. However, in reality, the square created by the A-pillar can never be ignored.
For example, an intersection located near Southampton in England has a nice view, but many car and bicycle crashes occur. As a result of investigating why a collision occurs at such an intersection with good prospects, when a car and a bicycle that are orthogonal at the intersection have a constant speed ratio, the bicycle will proceed tens of meters with the bicycles overlapping the A-pillar blind spot, and when both reach the intersection, they collide It turned out to be. The A-pillar square means that there is a risk of causing a serious traffic accident.
The American non-profit organization SSP (Society for Science & the Public) has been holding Broadcom MASTERS, a science conference for middle school students in the United States since 2010. A 14-year-old girl (Alaina Gassler) who participated in the contest announced a project to improve vehicle safety through blind spot removal.
Her invention is to allow the background that will be hidden by the driver’s A pillar to be projected inside the A pillar. When a car driving on the road reaches the A-pillar blind spot, it is reflected in the image projected on the A-pillar in real time, clearly showing how the opposite side of the blind spot is. This system is built with parts made of a webcam, a projector, and a 3D printer. The webcam mounted on the passenger’s A-pillar shoots a square image, and a projector installed on the sunroof above the driver’s seat projects the image to the driver’s A-pillar in real time.
The image is projected properly even while the car is driving. In order to focus on the near target, the A-pillar was mounted on a part made by a 3D printer, and a special fabric was covered over it. She said that while experimenting with this system, she sat in the passenger seat and faced the problem of the projector light shining and a headache. So, I adopted a solution that covers the A-pillar with a special fabric. This fabric reflects light only toward the light source. Because it reflects light only in the direction of the projector, the driver next to the projector can see a clear image, while other passengers only see black fabric. This project is simple yet elegant. In the end, she won the Samuel Foundation and won a prize of $25,000. Related information can be found here .