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Samsung Aims To Make Overtaking Safer

By raccars Published

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All drivers are familiar with the tedious feeling when you're stuck behind a slow moving lorry and unable to get a clear view of the way ahead for overtaking. Now Korean technology firm, Samsung, has been working on a new system to allow drivers to overtake HGVs safely. The technology, called 'Safety Truck,' uses cameras mounted on the front of large trucks and screens mounted on the rear, to give drivers behind a clear view of the road ahead.

The incredibly simple technology gives an almost transparent view through the truck and should allow drivers to overtake, secure in the knowledge of what is happening on the road ahead, rather than overtaking blindly, as often occurs on a single lane carriageway. The wireless camera at the front of the HGV streams its view to four large monitors on the back to create a giant video of what's happening ahead. Drivers behind who want to overtake will be able to see if the road is clear and if it is safe to do so.

The system works both in the day and at night, by using adaptive infra red vision cameras, which work with the HGV's headlights, to provide an illuminated picture for the traffic following. The innovation could potentially also help to avoid sudden braking and collisions with animals but critics suggest that drivers could become distracted by watching the screen ahead, rather than focusing on the situation all around them.

Samsung developed the tech in Argentina, where the roads are famously dangerous and traffic fatalities occur on an hourly basis. Ill advised overtaking accounts for a large number of these. Initial testing has been successfully completed and Samsung is now hoping to launch a prototype of the system and subject it to a global trial. The process of obtaining approval for use on public roads could be complicated but the firm believes Safety Truck could save countless lives, if it can be put into production. Samsung is working with governments and NGOs to organise the appropriate legislation.

A similar concept was proposed in 2009 by a Russian design house called Art Lebedev. Its system was called Tranparentius and was never meant for mainstream production - partly due to the economic burden of incorporating such technology for transport firms. Samsung has yet to announce any financial details or projected take up figures for its system.

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