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Revolutionising road safety: Samsung's transparent truck

While it’s not quite James Bond’s invisible Aston Martin, the unveiling of Samsung’s see-through truck certainly has shaken, not stirred, heavy haulage companies in Australia. Designed with safety rather than espionage in mind, the invisible truck aims to reduce the risk of accidents by giving other drivers better visibility on the roads.

How does it work?

The Safety Truck operates by live-streaming footage of the road ahead, and displaying it in real time on a video wall made up of four separate monitors located on the back of the truck. The footage will be captured continuously from a wireless camera secured to the front of the truck, allowing near perfect visibility for drivers behind the vehicle. Samsung promises that the camera would be powerful enough to provide clear footage, even in darkness. Their aim, they say, is to save lives.

Why an invisible truck?

The idea came as a response to the road safety situation in Argentina, which has some of the highest statistics on traffic accidents in the world. In 2010, accidents caused an average of 20 deaths a day, and remain the leading cause of death in people between the ages of 15 and 34. The vast majority of these accidents, it was found, took place on two-lane roads and particularly in situations where vehicles were overtaking.

According to Samsung, the Safety Truck technology is designed specifically to reduce the occurrence of these types of accidents around trucks, and it's easy to see why. By allowing drivers to see clearly ahead of the truck, Samsung says their technology will help enable drivers to overtake safely in situations where their visibility would otherwise be obstructed by larger vehicles. They also hope that introducing the transparent truck onto roadways would reduce the risk of rear end collisions in cases where trucks are forced to brake suddenly, such as when an animal crosses the road unexpectedly, as it would give the drivers behind these vehicles more time to slow to a stop.

When will we start seeing these transparent trucks on our roads?

The prototype has already been tested in Argentina, and though the test vehicle is no longer in operation, Samsung says they can confirm that the transparent truck technology works. On their international blog, the company says they're certain that this is a viable technology that has the potential to save the lives of many drivers.

Right now, Samsung is working with NGOs and governmental road safety organisations in an effort to make their invisible truck road-worthy in compliance with national protocols, which means that the technology is still required to pass a number of tests before it obtains the permits and approvals necessary to put it on our roads.

So although we might not be seeing it on our roads just yet, Australian heavy haulage companies have high hopes that this technology will help revolutionise our concept of road safety. To tell us what you think on our Facebook page, or get in touch with National Heavy Haulage.

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