CassBeth, a company that engages in research and development for areas where “critical needs are not being met,” is seeking a manufacturing and distribution license for a Vehicle Windscreen (windshield) Pillar Blind Spot Removal Display and Alert System. According to documentation filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the system eliminates front window blind spots caused by roof support pillars by making those pillars partially or fully transparent.
Partially or fully transparent support pillars would allow drivers to see traffic at road intersections while visually scanning across the windshield, all without being impeded by blind spots. The system uses cameras and displays to accomplish its goals.
“The system includes cameras to capture the blind spots, displays that make the pillars show the image of the blind spots, and a control unit that captures vehicle status to determine when to enable and disable the pillar displays, provide visual and audio alerts, and to allow an operator to modify system and display settings,” according to the company.
CassBeth argues that such blind spots are becoming larger as pillars become stronger and wider to accommodate the extra weight of vehicles. In fact, the company says windshield pillars are nearly twice the width they were 20 years ago. CassBeth cited a recent government study that found separate accidents involving small vehicles could be attributed to blind spots caused by larger pillars.
“As modern cars have become increasingly robust to meet stricter safety guidelines, front windscreen pillars have become stronger and wider to accommodate the extra weight,” the company writes. “This is good news for drivers, with a steep decline in fatalities over the last 20 years. However, the new windscreen pillar designs have been blamed in documented reports for road traffic accidents. Expanding windscreen pillars have created an extremely dangerous blind spot, making it harder for drivers to see other road users at pedestrian crossings, T-junctions and roundabouts.”
According to filed documentation, the system could be added to 66 million new vehicles from 2021 and 1.4 billion existing vehicles. CassBeth filed with the patent office in September 2022, with the patent’s status currently listed as “pending.”
CassBeth is not the only company working on blind-spot solutions, as Hyundai Motor Company, Kia Motors Corporation was granted a patent in 2020 for its Pillar Display System for Blind Spot of a Vehicle.