Like a shining, beautiful angel descending from the ambrosia clouds of heaven, Samsung has introduced a saving grace product for all of you terrible drivers out there: a so-called “transparent” truck. At first glance, the connection between Samsung and a truck created to promote highway safety may seem disparate at best, but looking at the truck’s design and the technology that powers it, it fits more into the Korean tech company’s wheelhouse than you might think.
Cameras and television screens, two of Samsung’s crowning products, combine to turn your average, everyday big-rig into a marvelous resource to aid the struggling driver trying to navigate those pesky, high-speed freeways. Dubbed the Samsung Safety Truck, the semi is equipped with a wireless camera at the front with four large outdoor monitor screens at its rear. The camera is interconnected with the monitors to transfer the captured feed and display it to any drivers who may be cruising behind it, allowing them to see if the road is clear of any oncoming traffic. For those hesitant drivers, it’s a great tool for letting you ascertain if you have the space and time to weave in and out of lanes like your favorite “Fast and Furious” character.
Thus far, Samsung has only created a prototype safety truck in Argentina, a country notorious for lethal traffic accidents – a figure illustrated by Samsung’s promotional video of the truck, released in honor of Argentina’s National Road Safety Day, showing off how the truck works and its potential applications. But it’s not a stretch to see how useful an arsenal of these trucks could be for American drivers, especially on twisty rural back roads and two-lane highways. Since the truck modeled in Argentina is no longer operational, Samsung’s focus moving forward will be to perform more tests that comply with national protocols and obtain necessary approvals and permits to truly hit the road with this game-changing hunk of tech and metal.
As for the why of it all, aside from an apparently genuine goal of increasing road safety and preventing lethal collisions, that remains shrouded in mystery. Samsung’s commissioning of this presumably costly product doesn’t appear to have any built-in profit model, representing a product from a giant tech company being built solely for the purpose of public service. If that screams antithetical of big business practice, you’re not the only one who’s a little suspicious. And we’re talking about one truck here. That cost skyrockets when you think about a fleet of these vehicles, all equipped with the same expensive technology, and the maintenance said fleet would require.
But at the risk of being too much of a Debbie Downer, the idea behind a transparent truck is pretty neat. If Samsung’s safety truck helps save even one life, it’ll be worth it in the long run. Still, for such a radically altruistic idea from the company that produce everyone’s favorite non-Apple smartphone, it would be nice if the method behind their madness had a bit more transparency.