Following the fatal Tesla Model S crash in which the driver was tragically killed after smashing into the side of a tractor-trailer, Krone, inventors of the Safeliner truck, made it known that the technology exists to prevent these types of accidents.
As BGR reports:
"...according to one report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an estimated 15% of “large truck fatalities involved passenger cars striking the sides of either the tractor or trailer.”
"And addressing instances in which a car goes underneath a trailer, the NHTSA adds: “Side underride collisions are an important safety problem because they defeat crumple zones and prevent air bag deployment, both vital safety advances in improving protection of passenger vehicle occupants during crashes.”
According to Krone, side under-ride guards are easily fitted to trailers, yet they aren't required by U.S. law. And most trailers that do have guards, have improper ones that don't absorb impact well and/or don't protect the occupant of the car/truck that hits the trailer.
Krone's solution in the Safeliner truck is designed to prevent a car form going underneath a truck, while at the same time absorbing the impact from the collision.
Furthermore, Tesla's Auotpilot system may have "seen" the truck were it equipped with the Safeliner setup.
This type of truck design has been available for a long time and is common in Europe, yet here in the U.S. it's not required in most states. Perhaps some good will come from this Tesla fatality though, in that the NHTSA will determine that under-ride guards are necessary for all tractor-trailers operated in the U.S.