With a forward facing camera and rear-mounted television screens, the Samsung Safety Truck prototype allows drivers behind to see the road ahead and decide whether it’s safe to overtake.
Overtaking a semi-trailer on a single lane highway can be a tricky affair. First, you have to determine if there’s traffic in the on-coming lane.
Unless the road and geography are being kind, this often means drifting into the other lane for a quick peek. Only after catching a quick glimpse can the driver decide whether to overtake or not.
Argentina suffered 5104 road deaths in 2014 according to the World Health Organisation and International Transport Forum. Some of that, it’s claimed, is due to the high numbers of semi-trailers and long stretches of single lane highway.
Samsung’s Argentinian arm has come up with a novel solution to the overtaking problem by fitting a wireless camera to the front of a semi-trailer and a set of outdoor TV screens to the rear.
Video from the wireless camera is relayed to the array of four television displays at the back, allowing drivers behind to “see through” the truck and make better overtaking decisions. The system installed on the Samsung Safety Truck is also able to operate at night thanks to a night vision mode.
Samsung trialled the Safety Truck with one of its local business clients and claims that it was “able to confirm that the technology works and that this idea can definitely save the lives of many people”.
Although the prototype truck is no longer on the road, Samsung says that it working with “safe driving NGOs and the government” in order to “perform the corresponding tests in order to comply with the existing national protocols and obtain the necessary permits and approvals”.
The Korean electronics giant has not commented on the cost of the Safety Truck’s camera and TV setup, nor has the company said when the technology might hit the market.