Samsung has devised a unusual strategy for increasing road safety – transparent trucks. Well, not actually transparent, but close.
The idea is simple. Wireless cameras are hooked up to the front of the rig, where they record the road up ahead. According to the Verge, the cameras transmit that information to four displays stitched together on the back of the vehicle.
The vehicles makers at Samsung call it a “safety truck.”
The result is what appears to be a transparent window right through the center of the truck. The innovation helps drivers pass slow rigs on two-lane roads; situations where a driver doesn’t know what’s in front of the truck until he or she turns to the side – which can be potentially dangerous.
The video above, made by Samsung for the Argentinian market, claims that road accidents there are “mainly from people attempting to overtake” trucks.
According to CNN Money, the project is still in its early prototype phase. As shown above, the company tested the concept in Argentina, which has the fifth highest rate of auto accidents in the world.
The Daily Mail reports that Samsung laid out the next steps in a statement.
“The next step is to perform the corresponding tests in order to comply with the existing national protocols and obtain the necessary permits and approvals. For this, Samsung is working together with safe driving NGOs and the government.”
The transparent truck project is impressive, but might fail to appeal to transport companies due to economic reasons. Although the wireless cameras in the front are inexpensive, the large screens on the back are not.
Whether shipping companies would be willing to pay the extra costs seems uncertain at best. Plus, it has been done before.
CNet reports that researchers at Japan’s Keio University applied “optical-camouflage technology” to make a Prius see-through, which appears more like a Star Trek-style cloaking device than a safety device.
Aside from making things transparent, there are other safety solutions competing with Samsung’s safety truck idea.
One expected to hit the American market next year is called Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication (V2V). The networked system would transmit data about a car’s location, speed and direction, then receives the same information from other V2V cars.
Based on what it picks up, the system then tells you what is safe and what’s hidden behind the corner, or in front of the truck.
The V2V system might be more practical, but it certainly isn’t as visually interesting as Samsung’s transparent safety truck.
[Image Credit: Youtube/Samsung]