Samsung would be the last company in the world that we expect to pitch road safety innovations, but here it is, the Safety Truck which proposed a simple solution to a serious and often fatal road hazard: overtaking. We are talking about overtaking big rigs and semis on a single, 2-way road, where vehicles behind cannot see if there’s any oncoming traffic for a safe overtaking maneuver. Samsung does it by attaching a wireless camera to the front of the truck, with the image displayed a video wall formed by four outdoor monitors, fitted to the back of the truck.
The setup essentially turns the truck ‘transparent’, thus allowing drivers behind the Safety Truck to have a view of what’s going on ahead and knows exactly when it is safe to overtake. It takes the guess work out of overtaking which often involves the highly dangerous peek-a-boo process. The wireless camera has night vision capability, so it will work even in the dark of the night. Now that the vehicles behind can see what’s ahead of the leading truck, it may help to reduce, if not prevent, the truck from being rear-ended due to sudden braking when a herd of a cow or two dashes out onto the road.
While the technology is there to help reduce or remove the hazards, it cannot eliminate human error, controllable or not, like rash driving or sudden braking of the vehicle due to seizure. Last month, Samsung announced that the prototype truck has ceased operation and the company is ready to take it to the next level and that is to “perform the corresponding tests in order to comply with the existing national protocols and obtain the necessary permits and approvals.” So, who knows? You may be able to see such trucks on the road in near future.