Samsung has developed and tested a system to replicate the view from the front of a truck onto its rear to help drivers following behind.
The system uses a adds a wireless video camera to the front of the truck that transmits a video image to an array of four video wall monitors on the rear of the truck so that the driver in a vehicle behind can, effectively, look through the truck. The camera can work at night as well as during the day and is intended to help drivers decided if it is safe to overtake. The company also said that it might help reduce accidents caused by sudden braking or animals on the road.
The “Safety Truck” was tested in Argentina, where many roads are just single lane highways and a lot of accidents are caused by overtaking manoeuvres on these roads.
Samsung said that the test is no longer running, but the company is working with regulatory authorities to gain the needed approvals.
This is an interesting application of display technology, but I think there are quite a few “gotchas”. First, from a product point of view, making a display that is reliable in this application is likely to be tricky. It seems to me that a really bright (and that might be a challenge) flexible OLED might be a great display for the application, if you could make one!
Secondly, there would need to be some standardisation of the camera. Watching the video shows that the following driver really needs to understand the perspective of the camera. When I watched the video, it looked to me as though there was a big gap between the truck and the vehicle in front, but watching the overtaking move, there was quite a bit less space than it seemed.
My third concern is financial. It seems to me that this kind of application imposes a big potential cost on the truck owner, but it’s hard to see the advantage, other than PR, for the truck owner. Reducing the number of accidents is worthy, but it seems that such a system would cost a lot. Wouldn’t it make more sense to simply transmit the image from the truck to the following car? Increasingly, modern cars have displays capable of showing video and, in this case, the main cost would apply to the car owner.
Obviously, the following car would need to know that it is picking up image from the correct truck. It seems to me that this could be achieved by either using something like a QR code on the back of the truck to identify the video source, or by using a “line of sight” transmission system such as Li-Fi. – Bob Raikes