A middle schooler has managed to figure out a solution to a major problem for motorists: removing blind spots in cars. While not being able to see other vehicles in the blind spot while driving has caused many accidents over the years, Alaina Gassler’s school science project presents a new approach to road safety.
The eighth-grade student from Avon Grove Charter School in West Grove, PA solved the blind spot problem as part of a science project she created for the 2019 Science and Engineering Fair.
Her solution consists of mounting webcams to the car’s exterior and projects what the cameras pick up onto the vehicle’s a-pillars.
Gassler’s approach may seem pretty simple, but sometimes the most straightforward approach is often the best.
By projecting the webcam’s images within the vehicle itself, drivers can then have a full 360-degree range of vision, allowing them to see any other cars or obstacles that might be approaching or even stationary and potentially avoiding countless accidents.
The project, called “Improving Automobile Safety by Removing Blind Spots,” was presented by Gassler at this year’s Society for Science and the Public’s Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology, and Engineering for Rising Stars) science and engineering competition.
Her blind spot solution was so good, she won the top prize, called the Samueli Foundation Prize, and was awarded $25,000.
While it’s not likely that we’ll see Gassler’s invention in vehicles just yet, it’s possible that automobile makers can begin using already-existing technology to incorporate elements of the project in the cars they make, improving driver visibility and safety.
Either way, it’s clear that Gassler, who isn’t even old enough to drive yet herself, has a bright future ahead of her in science and in life. We can only imagine the kind of inventions she’ll come up with in the future!