Samsung tests "see through" safety trucks in Argentina

Samsung's big road safety idea has hit the test tracks in Argentina. The South American nation has many single lane roads, which makes overtaking larger vehicles especially dangerous.

Samsung therefore felt it was ideally suited to test its ''Safety Truck'' feature.

Samsung mounted cameras on the front of a large 18-wheeler test truck to capture footage of the truck's view, which is displayed by live video for any drivers coming up behind and trying to overtake the truck.

The idea is undoubtedly novel, but whether or not it would catch on or if road authorities in various different countries would like the idea remained to be seen. It comes as further evidence of how technology is being used to tackle problems that were decades old like road accidents.

Samsung's tests in Argentina had already concluded and now it was looking at how it could proceed while complying with traffic regulations.

''The next step is to perform the corresponding tests in order to comply with the existing national protocols and obtain the necessary permits and approvals,'' said the company. ''For this, Samsung is working together with safe driving NGOs and the government.''

According to commentators, however, at this point the technology came across as a little bit of a gimmick and somewhat unworkable in a practical sense but it needed to be appreciated that this was still in its early stages and would need many new tests.

According to Samsung, it was now working to obtain regulatory approval for the deployment of its so-called Safety Truck, however, commentators say the idea did not appear economically practical at large scale.

The camera itself might be cheap and simple enough to install, but four displays per truck would be a major investment for any transport company to make, especially since it would not  lead to any direct financial benefit.

Improving information while driving would become more practical with Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication (V2V) systems, which are expected to arrive in US cars next year, they point out.

This comes in the form of networked intelligence whereby one's car transmits data about its position, direction, and speed, and receives the same about cars around it. It could thus alert drivers to unsafe driving by others or signal collisions ahead even before any other drivers have had the time to react.

V2V would therefore offer even more than just give vision the way Samsung's Safety Truck would, though making big trucks transparent is in itself a pretty useful application of technology.