Teenager rids cars of blind spots using a webcam and projector

  • Published on Nov 4, 2019
  • As every cyclist knows, the blind spots caused by a car's roof pillars can be extremely dangerous. Although companies are working on various high-tech solutions for this problem, a 14-year-old from Pennsylvania has taken a more low-tech approach to create an ingenious fix for the issue.
    Read our full story on Engadget: www.engadget.com/2019/11/04/teenager-solves-blind-spots/
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  • Science & TechnologyScience & Technology

Comments • 65

    ADAM KING 16 days ago

    NOT NEW! Company's already developing this in Europe.

  • Lance Baker
    Lance Baker 28 days ago

    This girl should return the $25,000 prize, because she doesn't even know where the blind spot is.

  • Lance Baker
    Lance Baker 28 days ago

    The blind spot is on the left side one car length back. It's called the blind spot, because it is not covered by the left rear view mirror. The B-pillar (only about two inches wide) has nothing to do with blind spot.

  • Lance Baker
    Lance Baker 28 days ago

    The A-pillars (sides of windshield) are NOT the "blind spot". If any part of the car causes blind spot, it would be the left B-pillar between front and rear doors, but that pillar is about two inches wide, so it cannot cause a blind spot.. In fact, the blind spot can be simply eliminated by adding a second mirror to the left side.

  • Joe Martin
    Joe Martin 28 days ago

    Not new.

  • Stony P
    Stony P 29 days ago +1

    Sheer genius

  • Blaa Blaablaa
    Blaa Blaablaa 29 days ago +1

    Hmm... Before this is in production, maybe I could build this kind of system on my own to my car :)

  • Blaa Blaablaa
    Blaa Blaablaa 29 days ago

    Omg, this is genius! A few years ago this would have save me from a "near-the-accident" situation. I hope this goes to every car! :)

  • Abc
    Abc Month ago

    That’s dope

  • Hairoun
    Hairoun Month ago

    Man people really trying to downplay this in the comments

  • Peter Spicer-Wensley

    A cheap screen would be simpler to implement. Great idea though. This could be done in the rear pillars also.

  • ForevermoreNevermore
    ForevermoreNevermore Month ago +2

    less concerned with this blind spot, and more concerned with the rear blind spot.. but nice idea and ingenuity

    • Lance Baker
      Lance Baker 28 days ago +2

      We do not need multiple blind spots. The blind spot is on the left side one car length back. It's called the blind spot, because it is not covered by the left rear view mirror.

  • wwiinnggnnuutt
    wwiinnggnnuutt Month ago

    Makes me think... And what was I doing when I was 14.... Not coming up with AWESOME ideas and winning big prizes. Lol.

  • Luke Taylor
    Luke Taylor Month ago

    Great to see teenagers handling things like this! The new generation can stand on the shoulders of those who came before to do some really cool things.

  • Kevin MZY
    Kevin MZY Month ago +1

    It would be much better applied to the rear pillars, which can be gigantic in most crossovers. Plus, the rear pillars are mostly vertical so the projection can be fine tuned to avoid external glare.

  • Tigerex966
    Tigerex966 Month ago

    I actually thought if the pillar doing this year's ago.
    Never thought any one would make it a reality.
    Thanks and congratulations for call of tour hard work and problem solving😊🙏👍

  • Alex Myladoor
    Alex Myladoor Month ago

    An OLED with eye tracking is the way to go. A rigid camera is gonna create more issues because of parallax

  • Peter B. Sims
    Peter B. Sims Month ago

    Tesla does it better than all others so far. Which automaker can catch up?

  • KnightsWithoutATable
    KnightsWithoutATable Month ago +1

    Augmented reality could also do this, but the fact that it is this simple to do with just a basic projector and a web cam shows how disconnected from new ideas car manufacturers are.

  • gurudeclan
    gurudeclan Month ago

    It's a girl. With a brain. Quick, give her an award.

  • Avarosa
    Avarosa Month ago +1

    Pretty sure some car manufacturers have already done that...

  • mgpvii
    mgpvii Month ago +1

    While it is a pretty cool design and idea, I would not consider that strip of the car a blind spot. Never had a problem with that small section of car blocking my ability to see a car. I think everybody considers the blind spots the side of the car where the side and rearview mirror does not show a car.

    • darksun b
      darksun b 28 days ago

      It just makes life easier since it's less of a thing that your brain has to imagine full & only needs to pay attention too. You don't really need a reverse camera, signal lights, a/c, windscreen, roof, etc but it makes life easier for everyone!

  • Sean Davis
    Sean Davis Month ago +1

    “Elon musk has entered the chat room”

  • XSportSeeker
    XSportSeeker Month ago +15

    I already explained this on the Gizmodo post, but I'll put it out again because these things have to stop.

    Nothing against the girl that came up with this system, it is great that teens like her are trying to tackle everyday problems like these with a investigative scientific mind. But it is also important for fair judges and tech publications to put these things to scrutiny before reporting about it mindlessly. This should not hold even for people with some experience with cameras, let alone for an entire scientific body and journalistic scrutiny. Pay attention on what you are reporting instead of following the hype.

    The problem here is about parallax and stereoscopic vision of the driver.
    This system, which has been proposed for years from motor companies and other scientists does not work because it's not taking the driver's perspective in mind. It's taking a camera's perspective in mind.

    It works on camera and on paper because it's taking a fixed camera point of view to demonstrate the idea.
    It's fairly simple to align a projected image to the windshield pillar in order for that to match what is going on outside, but this does not work for a driver that has a pair of eyes and is constantly moving around.

    In fact, it's actually a dangerous idea because due to parallax shift, the projected image becomes misaligned, and it might actually conceal what is actually out there adding another layer of confusion for the driver.

    If you wanna understand this for yourself and my explanation wasn't enough, just experiment a bit to see for yourself. Get a piece of paper, hold it in front of your eyes simulating the windshield pillar, try drawing what is a meter behind it or something. After doing that, try aligning the image. You'll see how hard it is. Even small shifts on your head position will throw the whole thing off.
    Now, you pick that and imagine it as something applied for all sorts of windshield pillar designs, heights, widths and whatnot, and then imagine all sorts of drivers from tall to short, moving their heads all over the place, and then you understand why the idea is impractical.
    The only way to have something like that work a little better, but not perfectly, is by having a eye tracking device that will adjust the projected image in real time all the time so that it aligns perfectly and reliable - which is extremely hard to do.

    So there you go. Again, no problems with the prize winner. On paper, it's an interesting idea that is trying to think critically about an everyday problem. But it's really bad when it's replicated like this without any criticism. People don't learn anything with stuff like that.

    • darksun b
      darksun b 28 days ago

      Your technical explanation is sound but the report was just on how a simple idea was used by this girl to make a solution. As it stands, though it's not the best & most practical solution out there, least she came up with an idea that could be improved upon!
      Your brain is not a fixed object. For example, there are still people who can't / prefer not to use reverse cameras but it has also saved countless people & stopped accidents from happening since it gives more information for you to process than just using the rear view & side mirrors.
      No technology is perfect but least someone has to start somewhere & this 14 year old girl made that good start! Now it's up to the rest of the world to improve upon it & do it better.
      Hey even the original RU-clip sucked but now has so many things including a place to voice out your words and like / dislike em and serves as a platform to let so many share so many things! 😅

    • stoner27th
      stoner27th Month ago

      but you can see what he's saying only because of the camera.. :)

    • 1234coolman
      1234coolman Month ago

      I see what you're saying.

    • Alex Myladoor
      Alex Myladoor Month ago

      Nice explaination my guy.

  • cousinbow1
    cousinbow1 Month ago +1

    the projector shines too much if you another car problem

  • Patrick Parado
    Patrick Parado Month ago

    An OLED panel would be good.

  • Reda Bell
    Reda Bell Month ago +2

    What’s wrong with his head ? It moves a lot ...

    • Sreeraj Nair
      Sreeraj Nair Month ago

      That was the most annoying thing in the video

  • Simon
    Simon Month ago +12

    I’d say a bigger problem is not seeing behind me. It’s not difficult to lean forward an inch.

  • zxdxz Muffy
    zxdxz Muffy Month ago +2

    As I remember , Some euro car maker and Samsung did show this concept prototype ages ago

  • Pierre Assouad
    Pierre Assouad Month ago


  • Chathumina Muthumala
    Chathumina Muthumala Month ago +28

    Finally a real use for foldable displays

  • AjSLim79
    AjSLim79 Month ago +2

    G R E A T

  • Nam P
    Nam P Month ago +1

    Why wasn’t this done sooner?? A fucking webcam. C’mon car companies! Step up.

  • Jackie Hiya
    Jackie Hiya Month ago +1

    flex lcd screen instead of projector

  • Damien Wilson
    Damien Wilson Month ago +7

    I hope she was smart enough to get a patent on her invention.

  • John theux
    John theux Month ago +2

    Need an oled screen and eye tracking.
    Wait, does it already use eye tracking?

    • Alex Myladoor
      Alex Myladoor Month ago

      No as in... ( Lol) I doubt it has eye tracking. Yes it definately needs one😂

    • John theux
      John theux Month ago

      @Alex Myladoor So the image and background does not exactly overlap.

    • Alex Myladoor
      Alex Myladoor Month ago

      I doubt it

  • MidnightRunnerZ
    MidnightRunnerZ Month ago +1

    In other news water is wet. Good job kid!

  • Rashad
    Rashad Month ago +26

    I could see putting an OLED screen on the pillar as a more practical solution.

    • put4558350
      put4558350 Month ago +1

      For school project pico projector just to show idea is better option than custom cut oled screen.

      But for mass production oled option is avalible camera screen and processor can be put in car pillar as one unit

    • James Johnson
      James Johnson Month ago +3

      Not exactly practical for a school project but absolutely once the idea gets adopted, that would be the way to go.

    • Rashad
      Rashad Month ago +4

      @cairo OLED is being used in everyday cars today.

    • cairo
      cairo Month ago

      It costs much more, and you have to build it onto the car, and it can damage easily.

  • Angry Akita
    Angry Akita Month ago

    Just... use a display, thats curved around the pillar

    • Lance Baker
      Lance Baker 28 days ago

      The A-pillars (each side of windshield) are NOT blind spots. The blind spot is on the left side one car length back. It's called the blind spot, because it is not covered by the left rear view mirror.

  • David Salazar
    David Salazar Month ago +9

    Volvo did this over a decade ago of course it didn't go to production, but their idea was using screens in the pillars back then those were LCDs, now we have OLED flexible screens just fill the surroundings of the car with cams and can even have a free view to the sky without the wind.

  • Vaughan Korede
    Vaughan Korede Month ago +1


  • Shannon Love
    Shannon Love Month ago +2

    The liability climate makes auto manufacturers show to innovate. Every new idea Is a multimillion dollar lawsuit in waiting.
    When you get punished for innovating you don’t innovate.

  • Endangered Creator
    Endangered Creator Month ago +3

    **OK BOOMERS**

  • Wi Fine
    Wi Fine Month ago +21

    ah, hen talking about a blind spot, I think everyone meas is the 15m behind us in our rear view.

    • Lance Baker
      Lance Baker 28 days ago

      NO, NO, NO!!!! The blind spot is on the left side one car length back. It's called the blind spot, because it is not covered by the left rear view mirror.

  • The Rickest Rick
    The Rickest Rick Month ago +26

    My car shouldn't have less cameras than an iphone 12.

  • benjaminpizza vargas


  • Lord Malix
    Lord Malix Month ago

    First lollllll coooool video