TfL to test new safety technology on London buses

17 August 2017  •  Author(s): Eurotransport

Transport for London has announced plans to test new safety technology on London buses, including automatic braking and audible warning systems as well as measures such as new mirrors to improve the driver’s vision.

TfL to test new safety technology on London buses

Earlier this year the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, set out a ‘Vision Zero’ approach to road danger in his draft transport strategy which aims for no one to be killed in or by a London bus by 2030, and for deaths and serious injuries from road collisions to be eliminated from London’s streets by 2041.

“Nothing is more important to the Mayor than the safety of Londoners,” said London’s Deputy Mayor for Transport, Val Shawcross. “We are doing our utmost to make the streets of the capital safer and these measures can potentially make big improvements to bus safety.”

All of the new technology will receive an independent trial at the Transport Research Laboratory whose leading engineers and technical specialists have been appointed to work with TfL, bus manufacturers and operators to test a range of innovative safety measures including:

  • Autonomous Emergency Braking Systems that allow the vehicle to detect its surroundings and automatically apply the brakes
  • Features to alert pedestrians and other road users of the presence of buses, such as lights or audible warnings
  • A redesign of the front of buses, which could reduce the impact of a collision
  • Changes to bus interiors to improve passenger safety, such as higher-grip flooring and softening sharp corners
  • Improvements to vision for drivers, including improved mirror design.

“We are determined to drive down the unacceptable number of people injured or killed on London’s roads, and make streets safe for pedestrians and cyclists,” added TfL’s Managing Director of Surface Transport, Leon Daniels. “Not a day is being wasted in working towards Vision Zero and this trial is part of our comprehensive programme to make road deaths caused by London buses a thing of the past.”

The results of the trials will feed into a new Bus Safety Standard that will be incorporated into bus operator contracts from the end of 2018.

Transport for London has also published a report on Intelligent Speed Assistance following a successful trial in 2016. Bus operators are required to fit the technology, which limits the speed at which buses are able to travel, from later this year.

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