Anyone who’s spent much time on urban buses knows the scenario – a bus stops to pick up passengers, they start looking for seat and BAM! The driver slams on the brakes for some reason and anyone not seated starts flying around the vehicle. While this usually ends with a bunch of dirty looks from the passengers to the driver (and maybe a chuckle from those who were siting during the incident), more often than you realize this ends with actual injuries.
In fact, a 2018 study by TRL showed that fully two-thirds of all injuries among bus passengers in London occurred in incidents that didn't involve collisions. A 2004 Israeli study involving 120 passengers injured on buses found that more than half were over 55 and most of those injured were traveling in urban areas.
The age of the passengers is of particular importance, in a 2004 report by the American Public Transportation Association it was estimated that by 2030 around 70% of the US transportation market will consist of people 65 and over. However, this large potential customer base may be reluctant to use mass transportation partially out of safety concerns. In fact, the National Center for Senior Transportation notes that, “Fear of falling can make public transportation use a very stressful experience for seniors.”
These injuries are not only discouraging passengers but can be costly. According to a 2016 article in Public Transport magazine, injuries to bus passengers in the UK cost £139,011,302 (more than $176M) in 2012, nearly half of that due to passengers over 60.
Now you may be asking yourself, what do non-collision injuries have to do with a collision avoidance system? First, you need to understand what a collision avoidance system, such as Mobileye’s, does. The main features of the system are:
Headway Monitoring and Warning, which lets drivers know when they are too close to the vehicle ahead of them;
Forward Collision Warning, which warn drivers of an imminent collision with a vehicle ahead;
Pedestrian and Cyclist Collision Warning, which warn drivers of an imminent collision with a pedestrian or cyclist ahead;
Lane Departure Warning, which alerts drivers when they have an unsignaled deviation from the lane;
Speed Limit Indicator, which notifies drivers of the speed limit and if they have exceed it.
Mobileye also produces an optimized system for buses called Shield+® with added sensors to ensure the safety of larger vehicles with blind spot detection.
So what’s the connection between collision avoidance and non-collision injuries? The connection might well be linked to an improvement in driver performance. Other studies have shown that simply by installing a collision avoidance system drivers improve their driving habits. And, it seems that, improved habits, such as keeping safe distance from the vehicle in front of you leads to less harsh braking. According to the 2009 report “Non-Collision Injuries In Urban Buses,” acceleration followed by harsh deceleration is more likely to cause severe injuries for standing passengers when they lose their balance.
Recent experience of the Abellio Group seems to have bolstered the argument that collision avoidance and passenger safety go hand-in-hand. After installing Mobileye’s collision avoidance system their buses experienced a startling 60% drop in on-board casualties.
So as a more urbanized world turns more toward mass transportation for solutions, it becomes critical for bus fleets to ensure the safety, not only of other road users but also the buses’ own passengers.
To find out more about how to protect your bus fleet and passengers contact a Mobileye representative.