Date:24 June 2015
Samsung’s Safety Truck is an attempt to reduce crashes by giving overtaking drivers an opportunity to “see through” traffic ahead.
In today’s world of multi-trailer giants, often driving in convoy like road trains, overtaking has become at best tricky – and at worst possibly life-threatening. It’s all too easy to misjudge overtaking speed, even with no oncoming traffic. Add to that the possibility of discovering, as you pull out, that the traffic ahead is far longer than you’d thought, and there are other hazards ahead that were blocked from view, and there’s significant potential for panic situations.
The Safety Truck idea, which originates in Argentina, couldn’t be simpler. A front-mounted camera on the truck beams what it sees in real time to to a giant display made up of four screens mounted at the rear, where following traffic can see it easily. The system works at night, too, thanks to a night vision mode. All of this was developed in partnership with advertising company Leo Burnett and Argentinian tech group Ingematica.
Conceptually, the Safety Truck is a wonderful aid to anticipatory driving. Besides improving safety for overtaking, it gives following drivers advance warning of conditions in front to allow them to tailor their driving style accordingly. Smoother driving would certainly aid fuel economy.
However, while laudable, the system does raise some questions. What effect will a buildup of dust, mud and similar muck have on both the camera and the display? And will the display, in fact, be visible in bright sunlight? There’s no indication, also, whether polarising sunglasses will make it harder – or impossible – to see the display.