Fashion Innovation

London Buses To Be Equipped With IoT Sensors

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London buses might be fitted with smart sensors after the road safety trials conducted. The intention is to reduce the number of collisions with pedestrians and cyclists.

Smart London Buses Fleet

TfL is “upgrading” its London buses fleet. The new safety sensors, which could save the lives of dozens of vulnerable road users, might be installed on all London buses by the end of 2016.
Transport for London asked leading manufacturers to come forward with designs back in 2014. One of the favourites was CycleEye and its pedestrians sensing sensors.

London buses are fitted with smart sensors to protect cyclists

London buses are already using smart technology. Internal CCTV, WIFI, Seat Control, etc.


Cycle Eye was rejected because of the “white noise” it picked up. Roadside railings, traffic lights, etc.
More recent data suggests that the Israeli firm Mobileye could be the maker of new IoT system. The system does not come cheap, and it will cost TfL about £17 million to have the whole fleet of buses covered and connected if approved.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson expressed his interest in the project, straight from the beginning.

IoT Sensors For London Buses And Lorries

“We’ve made some great strides in improving road safety in recent years, and although things are moving in the right direction there is still much to be done.” he said.

The Mayor also revealed that the TfL (Transport for London) is considering making the new IoT sensors mandatory for lorries entering the city centre too. Seven of the eight cyclist deaths this year have been as a result of collisions with HGVs.

London buses are fitted with smart sensors to protect cyclists

The introduction of smart sensors is not new to TfL. New London buses have “smart seat technology.”


One of TfL’s top priorities is to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on London’s roads by 50 percent by 2020.
The new tech will monitor blind spots around the London buses using IoT sensors. Quite a big task to fit all 8.700 buses that are on the road.
Similar Read: Top 10 Emerging Technologies That Will Transform Our Future

Smart London Buses In A Smart City

There is hope the TtL will begin live trials on London buses, by mid-2016. An expensive upgrade that will make a significant reduction in casualties. Thanks to the new tech, day or night, vulnerable road users, pedestrians, and cyclists will be safer in London.
It is worth mentioning that, the new technology is also part of the new plan that envisions London as a leading “smart city” in the world.
Update: We’ve been approached by the press office at TfL with a few corrections.
Following TfL’s above-mentioned trials, a new project is being planned to determine the role of this safety technology. However, at this moment there are no plans to fit London’s buses with smart sensors.

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  1. Expensive gizmo that fails completely to address the fundmental cause of crashes and fiddles around (I’m being polite here) dealing with the symptoms rather than the malaise.
    If TfL actually met its legally mandated duty of investigating crashes, and doing this objectively, drawing from this the causal factors and key learning points and then using that knowledge to make clearly identified changes to the fundamental way it designs and manages London’s roads, we would see a greater result
    80% of the HGV-cycle crashes begin with the equivalent of movement of the HGV driver steering left into the zone where there is no direct visibility from the driving position and the cyclist being exactly in that position or moving to the right relative to the HGV as their paths converge. This the majority of crashes involve the front nearside quarter of the HGV making the initial impact with the rear offside quarter of the bike. In many cases this situation arises when the HGV driver is making a left turn at a junction with substandard geometry – a corner too tight to get round without pulling over into the right hand lane and ‘negotiating’ (or just forcing through) against the priority of the traffic using the left hand lane – this has some particularly glaring examples where the Oscar Wilde line “Once is unfortunate Twice would appear to be rather (culpably) careless” might be levelled at TfL and the Boroughs for failings in the design and management of the roads – Vernon Place – 2 identical fatal crashes 5 years apart, with the simple and direct solution to ban the left turn (made by barely 2% of ALL traffic) and send HGV round via a safer route, or Bow Roundabout 3 near identical fatal crashes in just 2 years, where CS2 takes a route where 100% of the motor traffic using the roundabout WILL drive straight through the path taken by all the cyclists using CS2 at least once, and the only way this danger is managed is by all drivers and cyclists PRECISELY complying with the traffic signals. By contrast prior to CS2 being opened at the roundabout 70% of cyclists rode over the flyover where there is no possibility whatsoever that a driver will turn left (ie drive off the edge of the flyover) and drive into the cyclist, not just this but with most of the East-West motor traffic heading to or from the A12, via the roundabout the flyover is deserted – to the extent that I have regularly been the only vehicle on the flyover at times between 07.30 and 08.30, going East and had similar evening experiences going West.
    For buses – the vehicle with the worst pedestrian hit rate per vehicle per year – the incidents commonly happen where the street is in effect being used as a bus station. Yet when a bus station has almost universally a 5mph speed limit, and a regime of management and design which keeps the pedestrians and buses well separated with clear and safe places to cross, the pseudo bus stations have 30mph speed limits and a common form for the fatal and serious crashes is when a pedestrian attempts to pick a route across the street through the ‘wall of buses and its hit by a bus being driven past as the pedestrian steps out ‘blind’ from behind or in front of another bus.
    Even the most rudimentary review of the quarterly crash reports begins to show patterns of types of crash linked to routes, locations and even times of year. October for example sees a huge spike in crashes between buses and 2 wheeled road users, presumably because they become harder to see and the commute time of night suddenly gets darker when the clocks go back to GMT, and everyone has to readjust to these conditions – time then to run a specific safety campaign and get mirror and windows back in ‘winter’ mode.
    The use of assisting technology introduces 2 key dangers. First the users become reliant on the technology, when the eyes and ears, with 2.3 bn years of refinement remain the fastest ways to get a message to the brain, with additional ability to recognise rapidly the difference between objects in direct line of sight better than any computer, and second there is the technology compensation factor – or reliance on the technology to give the right message about what it is seeing, as a colleague working on oil rigs tells the tale, he averted a disasterous well blow-out, by the expedient of opening the control room door, and looking outside when he became suspicious of the information being displayed by the gauges and lights.
    Get the management of the bus service right, review the crash data, and with that objective information apply the hierarchy of safety intervention by eliminating the hazards as th preferred option instead of simply getting a warning light because you have not delivered that basic first move.

  2. PS the article state that there are 8700 buses in use on TfL contracted routes, but the listing of contracts adds up to a PVR of under 8000 buses, can you explain the disparity of nearly 1000 buses – or 12% more than the figure I’ve worked out?