For behind the scenes pictures, stories and special contests, follow us on Facebook!
Subscribe:

Mathematician Gets Patent For Wide Angle Mirror That Eliminates Blind Spots Without Causing Distortions

By David Ponce

In driving school they always teach you to check your blind spot. Once you start driving however, particularly if it’s a German car, you’re required to stop doing this. Signaling is also a thing of the past for most. But those of us who cling to our early teachings know that it’s important because regular mirrors suck. Turns out that Dr. Andrew Hicks of Drexel University has made them better. He’s created a specially curved mirror that gives a much wider angle of view without the typical distortion normally associated with these. Blind spots are gone.

The professor allegedly designed his mirror using a mathematical algorithm that precisely controls the angle of light bouncing off of the curving mirror. “Imagine that the mirror’s surface is made of many smaller mirrors turned to different angles like a disco ball. 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,” Dr. Hicks explained. But he noted that his mirror doesn’t really look like a disco ball up close.

Unfortunately car manufacturers can’t just start using them. In the US at least, curved mirrors are not allowed on the driver’s side while if they are present on the passenger’s side, they must carry the warning that objects are closer than they appear. There’s talk however of making these available as an aftermarket part, though when, where and for how much, we don’t know.

.
• a very useful invention that may save many lives (and cars)

• RH

That’s all fine & good, but, at least in the USA, you need to get people to ACTUALLY LOOK in their mirrors, THEN use the turn signals, BEFORE they do something.  Sometimes I think when I see a blinking signal, that it must have been left on at the factory, because lord knows most people never use them!

• Anonymous

The picture is kind of weird, the special mirror reflects also the black car which is used to show the reflection of a normal mirror