Alana Gasler told CNN that she first noticed the problem when she learned that her mother did not like to drive their family's Grand Cherokee jeep because its A-pillars caused blind spots.
The design of an A-column in a car supports the windshield. and provides protection in the event of a crash. However, their size and angle also create blind spots, the area of the road is not visible to drivers from their usual seated position or rear and side mirrors.
The Gassler project uses a webcam, projector, 3D printed adapter and reflective fabric to render the car's A-pillars invisible by displaying a car. the image of the blind spot behind them on the ladder.
Gassler also prints a 3D 3D special element to allow the projector to focus close in. The teenager uses a reflective fabric to cover the A-pillar so that light from the projector is reflected back to the light source rather than bouncing in different directions.
This, in her opinion, allows the driver to see the image more clearly. Matter also helps other passengers in the car avoid headaches and interruptions from the spotlight.
The young award said she was motivated to work on the design after learning how dangerous blind spots are to drivers. After her own brother started driving, she realized that this was a "big problem" that she had to deal with.
"When I did the research, I found that there were more than 840,000 car accidents in a blind spot a year in the US alone, which made this project much more important to me," she told CNN.
Gassler won the $ 25,000 Samuel Foundation Award for her design. According to the Society for Science and Society, the award is "the largest award in Broadcom MASTERS, the highest national competition for science and engineering for high school students."
Gassler competes against 29 other students from Broadcom MASTERS High School. When she won, she said it was a "real" surprise.
"I had the confidence that I could win any of the STEM awards because I felt like I did well in the engineering category, but after reaching the grand prize, I was left with no hope," Gasler said .
"When I was called, I started shaking so much because I was so excited."
Gassler, who is now a freshman in high school at Avon Grove Charter School, presented the project when he was in eighth grade. The student said she hoped to make her prototype more unique, patent the design and present the idea to car companies like Tesla.