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Technology trials target safer London buses

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Automatic emergency braking and audible warning systems could be introduced to Transport for London’s buses from next year in a bid to further improve road safety in the capital, it has been announced.

Automatic braking systems allow a vehicle to detect is surroundings and automatically bring itself to a stop if it senses a potential collision.

This and a number of other systems are set to be trialled by Transport for London for inclusion in its new Bus Safety Standard that will be incorporated into bus operator contracts from the end of 2018.

Features to alert to alert pedestrians and other road users of the presence of buses, such as lights or audible warnings, will also be trialled as well as improvements to vision for drivers, including improved mirror design.

These technologies will all undergo independent trials at the Transport Research Laboratory.

“Nothing is more important to the Mayor than the safety of Londoners,” commented 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.”

TfL’s managing director of surface transport Leon Daniels added: “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.”

TfL has also published a report on intelligent speed assistance for buses 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.