Samsung ‘Safety Truck’ has a wireless camera attached to the front of the truck, films the oncoming traffic, and sends the image to a video wall made out of four exterior monitors located on the back.
This way, the driver stuck behind the vehicle can have a better understanding of whether is safe to overtake or not.
A brilliant idea that seems obvious in retrospect: thing is, nobody had ever tested something similar to what Asian technology behemoth Samsung has been experimenting with recently.
If implemented, the system could be a game-changer. A pilot test was run in Argentina, one of the countries with the most dangerous roads in the world, with 12.4 road fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants per year, according to the 2014 edition of the Road Safety Annual Report.
Most of these accidents occur on two-lane roads and particularly in situations of overtaking; so this kind of technology could indeed prove something of a boon for drivers.
“Another advantage of the Safety Truck,” the Korean manufacturer writes in a post on Samsung Tomorrow (the Samsung Electronics official global blog), “is that it may reduce the risk of accidents caused by sudden braking or animals crossing the road.”
There’s even a night vision mode to allow the system to be fully functional after sunset.It’s worth considering, though, whether staring at a screen at night time could be a good thing or not. Could it actually be a source of distraction, with the system ending up causing more problems than it actually proposes to solve? And what kind of effect could such an intense light have on the driver’s eyes?
Another possible issue: what would happen, in case of bad weather, to the screens, or to the camera on the front bumper. Would they still be reliable?
For better or worse, anyway, for now the ‘safety truck’ is just a brilliant concept: the one tested in Argentina was simply a prototype, enough to confirm that the technology actually works, and it’s no longer operational.
The next step, the company says, is to perform the “corresponding tests in order to comply with the existing national protocols and obtain the necessary permits and approvals.”