Lifestyle

The end of the blind-spot?

A US university professor has developed a curved mirror that effectively eliminates the blind-spot.
A US university professor has developed a curved mirror that effectively eliminates the blind-spot. Drive / Drexel University

SOME car makers charge thousands of dollars for high-tech (and error-prone) camera and sensor based blind-spot monitoring systems, but a US university has come up with a cheaper option - a mirror.

The Drexel University has patented a new blind spot mirror that it says can triple the driver's field of view - from 15-17 degrees to 45 degrees - at the rear side of the car because of the way the mirror's glass is curved.

The man behind the mirror, mathematics professor Dr R Andrew Hicks explains that the traditional driver's side mirror offers a "very narrow" field of view.

Some car makers improve the field of vision with convex mirrors, but as a result the image is manipulated so that drivers can't correctly tell the distance between their car and other vehicles - most read "Objects in mirror are closer than they appear".

Hicks's curved blind-spot mirror, however, uses a disco mirror ball as part of its inspiration.

"Imagine that the mirror's surface is made of many smaller mirrors turned to different angles, like a disco ball," Hicks says.

"The algorithm is a set of calculations to manipulate the direction of each face of the metaphorical disco ball so that each ray of light bouncing off the mirror shows the driver a wide, but not-too-distorted, picture of the scene behind him."

It doesn't look quite as chintzy as a mirror ball, but according to the university there are "tens of thousands of such calculations to produce a mirror that has a smooth, non-uniform curve".

Because of the widespread laws and design standards surrounding the use of mirrors on new cars, Hicks's mirror is expected to be sold as an aftermarket product rather than being widely adopted by the car makers.

 

>> To read more lifestyle stories

Topics:  cars, drive, lifestyle, motoring, technology



Is your barbecue safe for footy finals weekend

Better safe than sorry when you fire up the barbie this weekend

Author keeps Red Rock story alive

FOND MEMORIES: Red Rock resident and author of new book, The Village That Said No to Town Water, Graham Searl, flicks through the publication.

Book launch at Red Rock today

The water war that divided and unified Red Rock

FOND MEMORIES: Red Rock residents Graham Searl and Gwyn Austen reminisce on the town's fight against town water in the '80s, which is the subject of a new book.

"People on the other side used to say 'this is splitting the town'"

Local Partners

Lady Gaga confirms Super Bowl show

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga to perform in coveted spot

Girls actors give emotional tributes to hit show

Actor Allison Williams

Actors farewell smash hit HBO show Girls after six seasons

Janet Jackson's pregnancy is 'best thing'

Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson can't wait to become a mum

Jay Z signs two-year movie and TV deal

Rapper Jay Z

Rapper Jay Z has signed a television and movie deal

Nowhere to Hyde: Matt Nable is Australia's man in demand

Matt Nable stars as Detective Gary Hyde in the TV series Hyde & Seek.

NABLE returns to the small screen amidst busy film work.

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E7: Manifest review

Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

Clarence Valley property prices go through the roof

Buyers are hungry to sink their teeth into the Clarence Valley

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

NEW HOME: Agents to the rescue for family of nine

RELIEF: Tanya Cone (middle) with her kids and McKimm's Real Estate property managers Regan Firth and Nadine Greenhalgh who helped find her family a home.

DEX article prompts property managers to help family find new home