London buses get safety sensor technology

Buses on London's busiest roads will trial cyclist and pedestrian detection software, TfL has announced.

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Buses on London's busiest roads will trial cyclist and pedestrian detection software, TfL has announced.

The software uses radar and optical technology to detect cyclists riding close to the vehicle and alerts the driver with an alarm and on-screen visuals.

The two services TfL is using are CycleEye from Fusion Processing Limited and Cycle Safety Shield from Safety Shield Systems Limited.

The four buses that will trial the software for six weeks travel the busiest routes in the city. Two buses will travel between Oxford Street and Ilford (route 25) and two more between Victoria to Stoke Newington (route 73).

The trial is part of TfL’s commitment to reducing the number of deaths and injuries on London roads by 40 percent by 2020.

TfL's Managing Director for Surface Transport, Leon Daniels, said: 'We are all pedestrians, and the number of people cycling in London is increasing, therefore it is vital that we continue to make London's streets as safe as possible. This forthcoming trial of innovative detection technology on London Buses will build on the positive trends we've seen in reducing serious injuries and demonstrates our commitment to making London's streets safe for all.'

London buses will be subject to a host of innovative technology trials, including Intelligent Speed Adaption (ISA).

Speed will be capped by cruise control technology that is linked to a digital map of London’s roads, complete with speed limit information. It is hoped this will stop drivers from speeding.

Isabel Dedring, London's deputy mayor for transport, said: “Our aim is to raise the profile of how technology can play a part in making the roads safer. Digital speed maps are able to be read by ISA which can monitor and regulate speeds. We want to see what effect it has on London’s roads overall and to see how it can control speeds.”

London and Oxford buses will begin to benefit from fuel savings and decreased carbon emissions with a Formula One-founded technology.

The electric flywheel systems will be supplied by global engineering group GKN plc and The Go-Ahead Group to 500 buses over the next two years.

The GKN system is based on Formula One fuel efficiency technology developed in the UK, the same technology that helped Audi’s R18 e-tron win at Le Mans last month.

The high speed flywheel, made of carbon fibre, will store energy generated by a bus as it slows to stop. The stored energy powers an electric motor which helps the bus accelerate. GKN said this will generate fuel savings of over 20 percent – a lower cost than battery hybrid alternatives. 

Transport for London (TfL) brought in Cognito to replace its existing mobile workforce system that supports over 500 users in its bus operations and ticket inspecting departments last year. 

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