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New technology trials to transform bus safety in London

23 August 2017 #Bus and Coach #News #TNB News #Uncategorised

Transport for London (TfL) has announced new plans to test some of the latest safety technologies, including autonomous braking, audible warning systems and a new mirror design for improved visibility, on London buses.

The trials will be carried out by the Transport Research Laboratory and aim to improve safety for passengers, pedestrians and other road users, while helping develop a new safety standard for buses.

Earlier this year the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, set out a ‘Vision Zero’ approach to road danger in his draft transport strategy. It 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.

All of the new technology will be independently trialled at the Transport Research Laboratory. Leading engineers and technical specialists have been appointed to work with TfL, bus manufacturers and operators to trial 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 re-design 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.

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 earlier this month following a successful trial in 2016. Bus operators will be required to fit the technology, which limits buses’ speed, from later this year.

TfL’s Managing Director of Surface Transport, Leon Daniels, said, “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. 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.”

Cynthia Barlow, Chair of RoadPeace, a national charity for road crash victims, said, “RoadPeace welcomes the news that an independent contractor has been engaged to lead on the bus safety trials. Safer buses, including redesign and additional safety features are key to delivering the Mayor’s stated aim of eliminating death and serious injury involving a bus in London by 2030. TfL’s bus safety programme is a good example of tackling danger at source.”

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