The UK’s Transport for London (TfL) has completed trials of buses equipped with intelligent speed assistance (ISA) technology.
The first of its kind in the UK, the trials and their success have proven that ISA can be used in buses to control their speed limits, while improving road safety by reducing the number of road accidents by half by 2020.
TfL surface transport managing director Leon Daniels said: “We’re investigating a range of new technologies that can make our bus network the safest in the world.
“These trials have proven that speed limiting technology can contribute to safer roads and streets.
Trialled on two bus routes with different road environments and differing speed limits, the technology, which was can prevent the buses from crossing the predetermined speeds.
“These trials have proven that speed limiting technology can contribute to safer roads and streets.”
The test results demonstrated that the vehicles deployed with ISA remained within the set speed limit between 97% and 99% of the time.
The buses failed to remain within the limit and gained excess speeds in very rare cases while travelling on downhill sections of a road.
The tests proved to be effective specifically when the vehicles travelled through 20mph road segments.
These 20mph zones are currently being extensively used across a quarter of London’s roads.
The tests of ISA have been carried out on route 19, from Battersea to Finsbury Park, and route 486 stretching from North Greenwich to Bexleyheath.
As part of the London mayor’s bus safety standard, TfL aims to equip all new buses with the latest ISA technology from next year.
Deputy mayor for transport Isabel Dedring said: “The use of this cutting-edge technology is just one example of how we are harnessing the latest technology to reduce the number of fatal and serious injuries on London’s roads.”
ISA will support the use of the new iBus system that is deployed on all 9,000 buses in London, to monitor bus speeds and take action to alleviate speeding.
A complete technical report on the ISA trial is slated to be published in April.
The speed limit data followed by the ISA technology is derived from TfL’s digital speed limit map of London.