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This 14-year-old's invention fixes what car safety issue?

Answer: Blind spots created by the pillars surrounding the windshield.

Fourteen-year-old inventor Alaina Gassler, from West Grove, Pa., has come up with a solution for those pesky blind spots at the edges of your windshield. Newer cars are built with thicker pillars on either side of the windshield in order to prevent buckling if the car rolls.

However, this also creates bigger blind spots for drivers.

To solve this problem, Gassler mounted a webcam to the outside of the pillar. She then installed a small projector inside the car that displays the live feed from the webcam on the inside of the pillar. She also coated the pillar with a retroreflective fabric, so only the driver can see the image projected onto it. Last, she 3-D printed a projector component that makes the image appear more clearly.

While far from perfect, Gassler’s invention is a big step in the right direction for improving car safety. She intends to continue working on and refining the prototype, with The Verge reporting that she will use LCD screens in her next iteration in order to improve daytime visibility.

Kate is a senior copy editor in Northern California. She holds a bachelor's degree in English with a minor in professional writing from the University of California, Davis.
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