Five new safety innovations to be trialled on London buses


Cutting-edge technologies are to be trialled on London buses this year as part of the Transport for London (TfL) Bus Safety Innovation Challenge.

The challenge pairs bus operators with technology developers to come up with solutions to road danger that could complement TfL’s Bus Safety Standard.

The five successful applications for the fund are:

– A tool that calculates the risk of fatigue in real time;

– Vulnerable road user intent prediction software that analyses people walking or cycling near a bus, anticipates their behaviour and alerts the driver;

– A video-based driver safety coaching programme that uses clips of actual events so that everyone can learn from them;

– A lighting system that illuminates areas of greater risk around buses to other road users, comes on and off automatically in slow-speed circumstances and that flashes to indicate when a bus is turning;

– A pedestrian and cyclist detection and driver alert system that detects vulnerable road users faster than a human can.

TfL will support these trials by funding specialist independent analysis to test the effectiveness of each product in reducing casualties. TfL will then explore how to introduce any of the successful innovations into its Bus Safety Standard.

Claire Mann, director of bus operations at TfL, said: “We’re determined to eliminate death and serious injury from our roads, but we know that we can’t do it alone.

“Our Bus Safety Standard is resulting in safer buses arriving in London this year, and this fund will harness the power of innovators – ensuring it complements our standard – helping to make deaths and serious injuries on our roads a thing of the past.”

Over the past decade the number of people killed or seriously injured as a result of a collision involving a bus or coach has decreased by 54%.

In 2017, a £500,000 innovation fund was split between six projects including Abellio’s trial of an advanced collision warning system, which won Most Innovative Transport Project at the 2019 London Transport Awards.