Third brake lights and SUVs were not common when I learned to drive in the '80s. That meant two things: People stopping short wasn't as easy to quickly spot, and for the most part, all cars were on similar levels, height-wise.
After a close call or two with people stopping short in front of me, I formed a habit of looking through the cars in front of me to see what was up ahead that might cause someone to late-brake. The greenhouse-like design of most '70s and '80s cars, and the fact that we were all sitting on the same level, made it easy to look straight through even multiple cars in traffic. But when the popularity of trucks soared in the '90s, hatchback-drivers like me found ourselves staring at tailgates, too low to see anything except the back of an SUV.
That's part of why I'm digging Samsung's Safety Truck design. The trailer is kitted out with four gi-normous flatscreens on the back of them, connected wirelessly to a camera mounted to the front of the truck. Hence the driver directly behind can see "through" the truck.
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In addition to helping out with what I'll call brake forecasting, the concept was designed primarily to help drivers decide when to safely overtake. A prototype of the truck underwent trials in Argentina, a country full of the two-lane two-way roads that engender frequent overtaking.
The main reason I love this design, in addition to its utility, is that it's selfless. The monitors help protect the vehicle behind it more than the truck itself. Most automotive safety features are designed to protect their own vehicles' occupants, but if every automaker focused on both internal and external safety, it could pave the way for a lot of imaginative designs.
Samsung has deemed the Argentinian trial of the Safety Truck successful, but is vague about the future of the project. "The next step," they write, "is to perform the corresponding tests in order to comply with the existing national protocols and obtain the necessary permits and approvals. For this, Samsung is working together with safe driving NGOs and the government."