Refuse collection vehicles are being fitted with technology designed to make cyclists safer by giving drivers warning of an object in their blind spot, as well as providing audible signals when the left hand indicator is in use.
The leading service provider Amey is investing around £1million into ‘Cycle Safety Shield’ technology that features smart cameras and sensors designed to give drivers more warning of pedestrians and cyclists.
The update to the trucks begins today and eventually 200 vans will be equipped, 100 of them well be in London.
The 'Cycle Safety Shield', developed by Israeli firm Mobileye, uses multi-vision sensors, which act as a driver's third eye and monitor blind spots around the vehicle. The system also provides drivers with real-time visual and audible alerts as the risk of a collision increases.
In addition to the Cycle Safety Shield system, Amey has also fitted its vehicles with still more custom features to make them safer – including a 360° camera system with full recording capability, additional amber beacons that give greater all round visibility to other road users, as well as LED warning signs and an audible external warning which is activated when the left-hand indicator is in use.
The decision comes soon after a unanimous vote to ban HGVs from London's roads during rush hours.
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP has welcomed the move - and said: “It’s fantastic to see that cutting edge technology, such as Cycle Safety Shield developed by Mobileye in Israel, is being utilised to help make London’s roads safer. Amey’s commitment to fitting Cycle Safety Shield to its fleet of trucks is to be applauded and I hope that other big companies follow their lead.
"As we work towards strengthening our Safer Lorry Scheme we’re giving real consideration to making sensor technology like this a requirement for HGVs operating in London. I've said that improving the direct vision of drivers is one of our key priorities going forward, but high tech solutions being developed by Mobileye and others are sure to play a big part in helping us to deliver future improvements to road safety".
Mel Ewell, Chief Executive of Amey, said: "Amey is committed to ensuring public and employee safety, and we’re always looking at new ways to continue delivering our services as safely as possible. Working with our suppliers to roll out the Cycle Safety Shield system across our fleet, is another example of where we have gone above and beyond to help improve road safety in London and across the communities in which we work."
Iain Levy from Mobileye said: “This fleet-wide rollout positions London as global pioneers in the adoption of lifesaving advanced driver assistance technology, and we hope that other cities continue to follow its lead."
As the sole UK provider of Cycle Safety Shield, Safety Shield Systems has been supporting Amey with the roll out of potentially life-saving kit. Their director, Jon Guest, said: “Amey has decided to install the system across their fleet to help protect vulnerable road users and Safety Shield Systems are proud to be working with them on this project. Amey will have one of the largest fleets in the UK fitted with the most advanced lifesaving technology available."