Autocar

This Pennsylvania teen homebrewed an invisible A-pillar for vehicles – Roadshow

We’re at all times excited once we hear about younger ladies getting concerned with STEM — science, expertise, engineering and arithmetic — as a result of these fields nonetheless wrestle with the underrepresentation of girls. Add in our ardour for vehicles, and it turns into fairly straightforward to see why we’re so pumped for 14-year-old Alaina Gassler and her homebrewed blind spot discount system.

Alaina’s system makes use of a webcam, a projector, a 3D printed adapter and a few retroreflective cloth to make a automobile’s A-pillar successfully invisible.

Why is that useful? Nicely, as vehicles have been topic to increasingly stringent rollover safety laws, their A-pillars (the pillars that encompass the windshield and assist maintain the roof up) have gotten thicker, lowering visibility.

What Alaina’s system does is take the picture from a webcam mounted on the outside of the automobile and sends it to a small projector mounted close to the sunroof within the automobile’s inside that tasks the video onto the A-pillar, which has been lined in retroreflective cloth to assist make the picture clearer.

The system just isn’t fully dissimilar to a patent utility filed by Hyundai again in October of 2018. That system was rather more difficult although, counting on specifically formed screens to show the photographs. Toyota and Jaguar Land Rover additionally labored on invisible A-pillar tech, however this middle-schooler from Pennsylvania appears to have found out the most cost effective manner but to make it work.

Gassler’s use of retroreflective cloth is ingenious. Not like a conventional reflective materials that bounces mild in all totally different instructions, a retroreflective bounces mild straight again at its supply. It is not terribly costly, and the tech behind it is not new — it’s normal on security gear for cyclists and motorcyclists — however its use right here helps scale back glare from the projector for automobile occupants.

Alaina’s blind-spot tech was adequate to win her the highest prize — a $25,000 reward from Henry Samueli, chairman of the board of Broadcom and his spouse, Susan Samueli, president of the Samueli Basis — on the Broadcom MASTERS occasion, the winners of which had been introduced on Wednesday.

We are able to solely hope that Alaina’s success will get automotive producers paying consideration and that she may help encourage extra younger ladies to get entangled in STEM fields. 


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