This blindspot proof mirror will never be on your car
Automotive side mirrors have changed little in decades. On nearly any car you'd care to name, they are squarish reflectors which cover little area and often leave huge blind spots for the driver. In Driver's Education classes, we're taught to "look over our shoulder" in order to make up for this shortcoming, despite many newer cars having little to no visibility from that angle either. A new innovation wants to change all of that, but government regulation prevents it from being used.
While some of us have taken to adding round, convex mirrors to the corners of our side rear views in order to enhance the breadth of their vision, most people just live without seeing what's going on behind them clearly. This results in over a thousand deaths a year - an estimated 4% of all automotive fatalities in the U.S.
A new mirror design from Drexel University mathematics professor Dr. R. Andrew Hicks wants to change that. He's received a patent for a new mirror design that will defeat the purpose of all those fancy (and expensive) blind spot detection systems being added to high-end cars today. Dr. Hicks came up with an algorithm that creates a mirror surface that can see a much, much broader view than a standard flat mirror of the same size.
Dr. Hicks' mirror is technically a curved design, but it uses a combination of refraction and multi-surface cutting to create a 45-degree viewing area. A current mirror has a 17-degree view, for reference. The design creates this view without the distortion normally associated with curved mirrors.