Samsung's See-Through Trucks Hit the Road in Argentina

Cameras, freight trucks, and Samsung screens come together to make passing on narrow roads less dangerous.

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Feb 6 2016, 3:55pm

Big trucks may play an enormous role in helping us maintain the comforts of modern life, but sometimes they're awfully slow (or you're awfully impatient) and you need to get around them. That's often dangerous: The need usually arises on narrow two-lane roads full of curves and undulating hills, and passing at the wrong time presents the danger of head-on collisions.

Preventing such mishaps is the idea behind the Samsung Safety Truck, which essentially amounts to a Volvo 18-wheeler with a giant—Samsung, naturally—flat-screen TV on the back doors that shows what's in front of the truck in real time. It's currently being tested on the roads of Argentina.

News about the truck has been bouncing around since June of last year and it recently underwent four months of internal testing, but the Argentine rollout marks the first time it's been used on public roads. Each truck sports two cameras on the sides of the cab and four 46-inch, high-definition LED panels for the trailer's back doors, thus allowing drivers a preview of what's ahead on the road. It's a relatively simple idea, but it effectively allows drivers to see what's ahead without having to rely on a stream of furtive peeks around the truck's left side. Even better, the technology reportedly works at night.

Argentina is a particularly apt place to test the service, as collisions on its many twisty two-lane roads are said to account for a significant share of traffic-related deaths in the South American country. In 2010, the Institute of Road Safety and Education reported that Argentina tops the list in Latin America for traffic death. Considering that the US had more than 30,000 crashes in 2013 alone according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, they could be of great use up here as well—provided, of course, drivers don't get too distracted by staring at the things.