Many drivers take unnecessary risks when overtaking slow-moving trucks on two-lane roads, and Samsung has an idea to reduce accidents.
The Safety Truck means that drivers no longer have to move out from behind a truck to check if it is safe to overtake, or make risky judgment calls around blind bends. Samsung has come up with a system which allows drivers to see oncoming traffic without moving out from behind the truck.
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Cameras beam live video feed to screens
Samsung’s system features cameras on the front of a truck and screens on the rear, which displays the view of the road in front to drivers behind. By watching the screens, drivers who wish to overtake will be able to see if there is any oncoming traffic without moving onto the other side of the road.
Similar technology was trialed in 2013, and now Samsung has come up with its own version of the system. However instead of wirelessly transmitting a live video feed to a display in the car behind, the Samsung system broadcasts the video on a series of displays on the back of the truck.
The technology allows drivers to watch the feed both at night and during the day, and could drastically reduce accidents caused by risky overtaking maneuvers, as well as providing timely warning of oncoming hazards such as animals on the road.
Samsung Safety Truck: Successful testing carried out in South America
Testing has been underway in Argentina, which has one of the highest rates of car accidents in the world. Many of these accidents are caused by overtaking on two-lane roads, and Samsung believes that the rate could be reduced by using the Safety Truck system.
Samsung claims that extensive tests in Argentina have shown that the technology is viable, although the test vehicle has been taken out of service. “So far Samsung has been able to confirm that the technology works and that this idea can definitely save the lives of many people,” the company writes.
Further tests will be undertaken which will make the technology comply with the law of the highway in Argentina. To this end, Samsung is working with both nongovernmental organizations and the government.
So far the company has not made any announcement as to when the system will be made available to shipping companies, or how much it would cost. It seems unlikely that shipping companies will be falling over themselves to adopt the technology, however helpful it may be to other road users.
Road safety improved by technology
The cameras may be cheap, but installing four displays per truck is not, and so far it does not appear that Samsung’s system will bring any commercial benefit to the shipping companies.
Other ideas aimed at improving road safety include Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication (V2V) systems. Such a system involves the transmission of data such as position, direction and speed between vehicles, and U.S. cars are expected to ship with the feature by next year.
The system will alert drivers to bad driving by other road users, or warn of collisions on the road ahead, and appears to be a more realistic option than screens mounted on trailers. However cool it may seem to watch the road ahead on the back of the vehicle in front, a lack of commercial viability will probably see the Safety Truck lose out to V2V.