Passing a long tractor-trailer on a narrow two-lane road can be a scary thing, and dangerous, but Samsung has presented a new idea that essentially makes these big trucks transparent. Installed on the aptly named Safety Trucks in Argentina, this innovative idea uses a forward-mounted camera to feed a live signal to four large monitors mounted on the back of the trailer, giving motorists a clear view of what is happening in front of the semi.

Although the initial testing phase of the Safety Truck prototype has ended, Samsung is still working to develop the technology by performing more tests and coordinating with government entities. According to Samsung, Argentina was specifically chosen as a test location for the technology due to its high rates of accidents on two-lane roads – most of which occurring while one vehicle is passing another.

This is a cheaper and more real-world alternative to vehicle-to-vehicle technologies that have been discussed in recent years, but more importantly, all of the technology is simple and available today. The key advantage of V2V is that it could become a passive safety feature to warn drivers they don’t have enough space to pass or even an active safety device to prevent a crash altogether (or limit the severity). Samsung’s system still requires drivers to pass safely, but it gives them more information about when is the safest time to attempt to overtake a semi. It could also be helpful to warn drivers behind a semi of upcoming road hazards or traffic congestion.

As I watched the video and read about all the safety intentions Samsung has for this Safety Truck, one thought that kept popping into my head was that this technology could open a Pandora’s Box, allowing annoying digital billboards to make their way onto the backs and sides of these trailers.

But other than that, it’s a great idea.


Jeffrey N. Ross
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