Korean giant Samsung are pushing road safety to the next level with giant TV screens on the back of freight trucks to eliminate that driver blind spot when overtaking.
Of course, the long process of gaining approval for this to become more than a few words on the internet and trials is the next step, bit my first reaction is that this is potentially a great idea – and, of course, it utilises existing technology.
The tech works by installing a built in wireless camera at the front of the vehicle and four outdoor monitors at the rear set up to show images as one giant screen, much the same as we see on TV as backdrops to news shows.
It also has a night vision mode, so that the technology on the ‘transparent’ trucks as they are being called, will work effectively after dark as well.
So are there any downsides? I suspect that before any legislation approval for British roads is given, some questions will need to be asked. You might have used rear-parking cameras before and been surprised at just how close to the wall you have ended up – it can be a little disorientating. So I wonder how the visual image of a car coming in the opposite direction yet right in front of you and of course, slightly smaller, will appeal to drivers behind a slow moving truck.
Currently trucks of lanky proportions have that familiar ‘long vehicle’ sign fixed to the rear, which offers risk-taking motorists who plan to execute an overtaking manoeuvre the knowledge that they will be in the process of actually overtaking the vehicle for slightly longer than normal – elevating the risk involved.
As to whether such technology – simple though it might seem – would be taken up by large fleet owning corporations is another matter. It just may prove too cost prohibitive for such companies.
On the other hand, wouldn’t this be a great idea implemented on the back of buses in our cities, where constant stopping at bus stops invites and teases the vehicles stuck behind them to overtake?
The trial scheme is currently taking place in Argentina, where one person is killed every hour in a traffic accident, and where overtaking is cited as a prime cause of these startling figures. Hopefully this technology in a real-life situation on our roads will get the go-ahead and prove both a fantastic safety aid, as well as reducing the frustration of motorists stuck behind slow moving trucks.
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