First West of England focuses on cyclists

First West of England is introducing cycle safety technology on three of its buses operating along the busy Gloucester Road route in Bristol as part of an ongoing trial funded by four West of England local authorities which has also involved Wessex Bus.

The CycleEye technology has been developed by Bristol engineering company Fusion Processing Ltd to reduce the growing number of cyclist collisions and casualties across the country involving large commercial vehicles. It uses radar and camera sensors to identify when the risk for the cyclist is increased due to being in the vehicle’s blind spot, and gives an audible alert to the driver’s cab.

The unit, which can operate in all weather conditions, as well during night and day, is fitted to the side of the commercial vehicle and is unique in the way it only audibly alerts drivers when there is a real danger of a collision with the cyclist. The intelligent system is programmed to ignore other nearby objects such as bollards, railings or cars so they are not mistaken for bikes, thereby cutting out false alerts which have been an issue with other cycle safety technologies. A preliminary trial in London, saw the system achieve a 98.5 per cent success rate in identifying cyclists.

Talking about the trial involving his company’s buses, Paul Matthews, Managing Director, First West of England, said, ‘We are pleased to be working with the city council and Fusion Processing on this project. We are constantly looking at ways we can reduce risk in our business, ensuring the safety of our customers, staff and all other road users in the process. Cycle Eye is an interesting piece of technology and we look forward to being able to review fully the findings of the study into it.’

First West of England, is also supporting one of the Bike Bath 2014 rides taking place on 28-29 June as part of their strategy to build relationships between cyclists and bus drivers.


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