Creating a Better Driver Side Mirror

The driver side mirror of automobiles isn’t all that bad, but let’s face it: most of us have had a blind side scare when switching lanes on the highway at some point in our lives. The blind spot is a product of faulty mirror placement, not necessarily the mirrors themselves.  However, the mirror hasn’t changed at all since its introduction.

Now, a no-blindspot driver side mirror has been created by R. Andrew Hick, a mathematics professor at Drexel University in Philadelphia, rather than an automotive R&D team. The new mirror offers a larger field of vision as seen above.

Hicks’s driver’s side mirror has a field of view of about 45 degrees, compared to 15 to 17 degrees of view in a flat driver’s side mirror. Unlike in simple curved mirrors that can squash the perceived shape of objects and make straight lines appear curved, in Hicks’s mirror the visual distortions of shapes and straight lines are barely detectable. […]

“Imagine that the mirror’s surface is made of many smaller mirrors turned to different angles, like a disco ball,” Hicks said. “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.”

Hicks noted that, in reality, the mirror does not look like a disco ball up close. There are tens of thousands of such calculations to produce a mirror that has a smooth, nonuniform curve.

[via neatorama]

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