Samsung’s see-through truck saves lives

If you are a driver, you’ve probably been stuck behind a lumbering truck holding up traffic behind it. On a two-lane highway – one lane with opposing traffic direction to the other, and no barrier in between – it is unquestionably dangerous to overtake the mammoth in front when the view of the road ahead is obstructed.

Apparently, the South Korean giant conglomerate, Samsung, agrees. The company has come up with a simple and by no means revolutionary but effective solution – by mounting front-facing cameras on the front of the truck and projecting the images on outdoor monitors placed on the rear, for all the vehicles behind it to see. Effectively, the monitors let the other drivers see whether there are any oncoming vehicles and know when it is indeed safe to overtake.

While it’s not exactly rocket science, the idea seems to appeal to many, as the Youtube video released by Samsung Argentina on the “Safety Truck” has racked up more than 1.5 million views within 10 days. According to the video, most traffic fatalities that occur on the roads of Argentina happen during overtaking.

Of course, Samsung is not the first company to employ ‘see-through’ technology to increase road safety. Land Rover introduced its ‘transparent bonnet’ concept last year and MINI recently ventured into wearable technology with its augmented reality glasses that gives the driver ersatz X-ray vision.

Further into the future, when autonomous car technology has advanced and are employed more pervasively on public roads, we probably won’t even need ‘see-through’ technology anymore. Vehicles will be able to communicate effectively with each other even though they are out of each other’s view, and automatically avoid a collision course.

But for now, the camera and display sound like a cheap solution that serves it purpose. The prototype truck has been temporarily pulled off the road, but Samsung will be working with NGO’s and the government (of Argentina, we presume) for further tests and permits.

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