Samsung attached a large video display to the back of a semi-trailer truck as an experiment, in an attempt to prevent head-on collisions due to a driver’s inability to see all of the road when passing a large truck. The screen displayed the road in front of the truck to drivers behind the truck, according to news reports. And it also featured a night-vision mode, as Samsung says in a video.
As Samsung Tomorrow writes: “The Safety Truck consists of a wireless camera attached to the front of the truck, which is connected to a video wall made out of four exterior monitors located on the back of the truck.” Another benefit is that the Safety Truck can help prevent car accidents caused by a truck driver applying the brakes suddenly or an animal crossing the road, Samsung writes.
The Argentinian branch of the Korean company Samsung created the truck hoping it could save lives, as Argentina has a large number of traffic accidents, most of them on two-lane roads, and most involving attempts to pass vehicles, Samsung Tomorrow writes. “According to Samsung’s video, almost one person dies in a traffic accident every hour in Argentina,” reports Dovas for boredpanda. The video (which you can see below) notes that Argentina is a country with “hundreds of one-lane roads.”
The prototype Safety Truck is no longer in use, Samsung Tomorrow writes, but the company found in testing that it worked well, and that such a truck could indeed save many lives. Samsung is working with both government and non-government safety agencies in hopes of bringing the Safety Truck to market, writes Chris Perkins for Mashable. Perkins writes that such a truck would work well on two-lanes roads, but there would not be much point to the screen on multi-lane highways.
In 2009, Art Lebedev, a Russian design house, introduced “the exact same idea” as Samsung’s Safety Truck, called Transparentius concept, for preventing accidents on the road, writes Vlad Savov for The Verge. In fact, Savov reported on that back in 2009, writing: “Anyhow, now that you’ve got the idea, we’re throwing this one over to you dear mod-loving friends — can you build this without remortgaging the house?” The idea of adding four screens to the back of every truck could be “prohibitively expensive” for trucking companies, Savov writes.
In a comment to the Samsung Tomorrow article, James Donohue writes that as a bicyclist, he likes the idea, but that anyone driving a vehicle behind a large truck can avoid accidents by maintaining a safe following distance. He also worries that the screen would get dirty quickly, and would require cleaning every 150 to 300 miles. However a commenter named Coinmanmat calls the Safety Truck a “revolutionary concept.”
The comments to the Mashable article are all enthusiastic. Avinash Tiwary writes that this technology is impressive and ought to be used all over the world. Rachael Senning writes that as someone who works for the interactive video program Tagazu, she loves to see video used in innovative ways. And Neil N writes, “Simple and brilliant…that’s called ‘solving real problems!’”
You can see the truck in action in Samsung’s video: