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Could Samsung's "see-through" safety semi-truck prevent accidents?

Anyone with a license has likely had the frustrating experience of getting stuck behind a slow truck on a two-lane road, wanting desperately to pass it, but never knowing if it's quite safe. Samsung has a surprising solution: Look right through it.

The company developed a "safety truck" with a wireless camera mounted on the grill that streams live video to four large screens on the back. That way, the person following the truck can see what the truck driver is seeing -- and can spot a safe moment to accelerate out in front.

Samsung developed and tested the truck in Argentina, where traffic accident rates are among the highest in the world and two-lane highways are prevalent.

The prototype truck Samsung built is "no longer operational," according to the website, but Samsung said is has shown the concept works "and that this idea can definitely save the lives of many people." The truck will have to go through further tests, approvals and permitting before the accident-preventing technology can be put to use. To that end, Samsung is working with safe-driving NGOs and the Argentinian government.

It isn't likely to make its way up to North American roads any time in the foreseeable future. And as cool as the concept is, one has to wonder if this is the best place to put safety efforts.

"Although it has some good intentions, I can't help but feel it itself is a distraction to driving," said CNET's Bridget Carey.

"We're heading more toward self driving cars," she added, which might be a better candidate for new safety-focused technologies. "I feel like this is more for show."

Plus, she pointed out, we're bound to "feel like we're smarter than a camera, smarter than a computer. We're still going to go around it."

  • Amanda Schupak

    Amanda Schupak is the science and technology editor at CBSNews.com