TRL to lead trials of new safety technology


Transport for London has chosen TRL to lead trials of new safety technology on London buses. This will include trailing automatic braking and audible warning systems, as well as trailing new mirrors to improve the driver’s vision.

In his draft transport strategy, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, outlined a ‘Vision Zero” approach to road danger. The aim of this is for no one to be killed in or by a London bus by 2030 and to abolish injuries caused by road collisions by 2041. London’s Deputy Mayor for Transport, Val Shawcross, emphasises the importance of road safety, nothing that “nothing is more important to the Mayor than the safety of Londoners.  We are doing our utmost to make the streets of the capital safer and these measures can potentially make big improvements to bus safety.”

TRL have been chosen to lead these trails using new technology which will be independently trailed at the Transport Research Laboratory. Richard Cuerden, Academy Director at TRL said: “We are delighted to be appointed lead contractor for the bus safety trials in London.  TRL has a long history in improving road safety and is committed to creating a transport system that is safer, cleaner, more accessible and efficient for all.”

TRL’s technical specialists and leading engineers will be working with TfL, bus manufacturers and operators to trial a range of innovative safety measures. These will include Autonomous Emergency Braking Systems and technology, such as lights or audible warnings, that alerts pedestrians and road users of busses.

TRL will also be looking at redesigning the front of busses and changing the interior of busses with the aim of reducing the impact of collisions and improve passenger safety. Examples include implementing higher-grip flooring, softening sharp corners and looking to make visual improvements for drivers with the introduction of an improved mirror design.

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.”

Once the trails are completed, the results will be included in a new Bus Safety Standard. This will then be integrated into bus operator contracts from the end of 2018.