The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has ruled that a nationwide clearinghouse...READ MORE
A “See-Through” Truck? Samsung’s Interesting New Road Safety Technology
Trying to pass a big semi-truck on a two-lane highway is a dicey proposition at best, especially when you are not 100 percent certain there is no oncoming traffic. New technology being developed by Samsung aims to take the guesswork out of this often-dangerous maneuver and perhaps reduce the number of truck accident fatalities that occur each year.
Trying to Reduce Some Ugly Numbers
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 4,000 people died and approximately 95,000 people were injured in accidents involving large trucks in 2013. Among the many dangers presented by semi-trucks on the road, trying to pass one on a two-lane road is one of the most hazardous. If someone driving a smaller truck or a car misjudges the distance of oncoming traffic even slightly, the results can be catastrophic.
Samsung is developing technology that may someday help motorists “see” what a truck driver sees. By mounting a wireless camera on the grill of a truck and positioning four large video screens on the back of the rig, Samsung hopes to provide drivers of smaller vehicles a true picture of what is ahead of the truck. If this system proves reliable enough, it is possible that motorists will be able to spot the exact moment that it is safe to move around a semi.
So Far, So Good
Samsung tested the system in Argentina – a country where, per capita, traffic accident numbers are some of the highest in Latin America – and said the concept works. However, it will still have to go through much more rigorous testing as well as other steps before it can ever be put to use. More than likely, there will have to be substantial adjustments made before it would ever show up on a highway in the U.S. Some critics are already saying that “see-through” trucks could actually be more of a distraction than a help to motorists.
Interestingly, this is not the first effort to introduce “see-through” technology to the road. The Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) reported that a Japanese university developed a system used on a Toyota Prius that made the interior of the car seem transparent. It consisted of cameras mounted on the sides and back of the car that projected images onto the interior of the car, allowing the driver of the Prius to see things that would normally be invisible.
A Wait-and-See Attitude
While the truck accident attorneys with Baron & Budd are obviously all for any technology that would make roads safer, it is still way too early to tell whether Samsung’s innovation will be viable. Any type of new technology such as this has to be intensely studied before any sort of decision can be made as to whether or not it can increase safety when implemented on a wide scale.