It’s a fact of the industry that lorries are, and will always need to be, large. In order to maximise time, money and fuel efficiency, an HGV needs to be able to hold a large volume of goods at any one time, making a long, broad vehicle a necessity in the world of haulage work. |
As any road user will know, the size and length of lorries can often be a problem, especially on smaller roads where overtaking can be difficult at the best of times. With no way of seeing around a lorry and attempts to overtake usually leaving a driver in the opposite lane for several seconds, head-on collisions from botched overtaking are a frequent cause of road accidents.
In Argentina, where one person dies in a traffic accident every hour, Samsung is beginning to test a new technology on open roads. If successful, this technology could save lives and vastly improve the reputation and public image of haulage work.
What Is the Technology?
Samsung’s new technology makes a lorry appear ‘transparent’ when viewed from behind. When a driver behind the lorry looks at the back of the vehicle, they will see a real-time view of the road in front of the cab. Therefore, the mainstay vehicle of haulage work will no longer constitute a nigh-insurmountable obstacle for those wishing to overtake on smaller roads. Not only would this be an enormous improvement to public safety, but it would also help shift some of the resentment lorry drivers face when confronting road users who see HGV’s as a nuisance.
How Does It Work?
Samsung’s technology relies on a small wireless camera at the very front of the car, transmitting to a total of four monitors on the back, which combine to make one large display. Therefore, while a driver is going about their day’s haulage work as normal, cars behind them will have a good view of what is going on in front of the lorry. There is minimal latency on the camera-display connection, meaning that what you see on the back of the lorry is essentially happening in real time.
When Can We Expect to See It?
‘Transparent’ lorries are already being tested on the open road in Argentina, so before anything else, we’ll have to wait and see what their success there is like. There is no core change to the lorries themselves or how they operate on the roads, so if the technology is indeed successful, there should be very little to stop their worldwide uptake. We may well see them on the UK’s roads within the next few years.
Will It Be Mandatory?
Currently, there’s no way to tell. If the data shows significant safety improvements, then these digital displays may become a standard safety feature of all HGVs. Until then, it seems more likely that larger haulage firms will start putting the screens on their trucks, not only to improve safety, but also in order to improve their popularity among other road users.
If this is an issue that interests you, the best way to keep yourself in the loop is to watch how the early tests unfold among Argentina’s haulage workers and road users.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage work with available drivers. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
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