Navigating busy two-lane highways can mean drivers often can't see the road for the cars and take a risk that can prove fatal when they attempt to overtake large vehicles like transport trucks.
The Korean technology giant Samsung wants to reduce that risk with the help of technology that allows drivers to virtually see "through" the vehicles ahead of them. Using monitors mounted on the back of a truck or other large vehicle and connected wirelessly to a camera in front, Samsung's Safety Truck technology shows drivers what's ahead of the 18-wheeled obstruction they're driving behind — day or night.
Samsung believes it could save lives and limit accidents caused by overtaking and sudden braking. It built a prototype that was tested on the roads in Argentina, where two-lane roads are common and traffic accidents are among the leading causes of death, according to healthdata.org.
In Canada, road accidents are the eighth-leading cause of premature death.
Tests are still required to ensure Samsung's technology complies with national safety protocols and receives the necessary permits and approvals to make the Safety Truck road-ready, the company said.
Samsung is not the first company to introduce such "see-through" technology for automobiles. Keio University in Japan developed a technology for the Toyota Prius that makes the car's interiors appear transparent using cameras mounted on the back and sides of the car and projecting the images onto the interiors. This allows Prius drivers to see things outside the car that they normally couldn't see.
Jaguar's 360 Virtual Urban Windscreen, still in the conceptualization stage, eliminates blind spots by rendering the pillars on the sides of the car's windshield or door frames transparent — again with the help of cameras mounted on the outside of the vehicle.