Transport for London has announced plans to test new safety technology on London buses with automatic braking and audible warning systems being trialled alongside measures including new mirrors to improve the driver’s vision.
Earlier this year the Mayor of London 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 receive a completely independent trial at the Transport Research Laboratory. Their 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. Bus operators are required to fit the technology, which limits the speed at which buses are able to travel, 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.”