Is there anything more terrifying than attempting to pass a slow-moving truck on a two-lane road when you're really not sure what's waiting for you up ahead? Researchers at the University of Porto in Portugal don't think so; they've come up with a clever system that could allow drivers of smaller vehicles to see right through large trucks and buses and know when it's safe to pass.
The system relies on two components: a small video camera mounted to the front of large vehicles and an LCD heads-up windshield display that allows other drivers to see a live wireless stream of the feed. The setup essentially lets a following driver to see through the vehicle ahead of them, so they can spot dangerous oncoming traffic before they try to speed up and pass it.
There's still some work to be done before the system is ready for regular highway use, though. The biggest issue is the 200-millisecond delay in the live feed, which doesn't seem like much, but it can make oncoming traffic appear farther away than it really is. And given the system is supposed to be all about improving highway safety, that's going to be an important roadblock to overcome before we see this come as even an option on new vehicles. [Instituto de Telecomunicações via Gizmag via New Scientist]