A technology automatically limiting the speed based on a speed-limit map will be tested on London’s buses to improve road safety.
The technology, called the Intelligent Speed Adaptation, is expected to free drivers’ attention from constantly checking the speedometer and will allow them to concentrate more on the traffic situation around their vehicle.
The system draws data from the Transport of London’s (TfL) Digital Speed Limit map of London, re-launched last year to help spur the development of the next generation of in-vehicle technologies and mobile phone apps for the road.
Combined with GPS positioning data, the system is able not only to know exactly the position of the vehicle and the appropriate speed limit, but also to ensure that the vehicle travels at the correct speed.
“Intelligent Speed Adaptation improves road safety by reducing incidences of speeding for all road users, allowing drivers to focus on looking out for potential issues on the road rather than checking their speed limit,” said Leon Daniels, Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL.
“If this trial confirms that this technology could be beneficial to the safety of London’s roads, it could be introduced across our bus fleet.”
The trial will involve 47 buses serving on two busy routes: number 19, running from Battersea to Finsbury Park, and 486, running from North Greenwich to Bexleyheath. Both routes cover a variety of different road environments with frequently changing speed limits, providing a perfect test bed.
The trials, scheduled to run until autumn this year, will allow TfL to study the attitude of drivers and passengers to the technology before rolling it out across London’s 8,700-strong bus fleet.
“This trial is a great example of how we’re harnessing innovation and new technology that will aide bus drivers on the job and help to improve the safety of other road users,” said Isabel Dedring, the Deputy Mayor of London for Transport.
The project is part of TfL’s ongoing efforts to improve road safety and reduce the number of serious accidents.
Last summer, TfL also carried out trials of pedestrian and cyclist detection technology on buses. Following these trials, a follow-up project is being planned to determine the role of this safety technology in preventing vulnerable road user injury on London’s roads.