2019 New Horizons

New Horizons sponsored by sponsored by Passenger Transport

Winner, Gold Award, Mobileye – Abellio London

Road safety is of paramount importance to us at Abellio London. Working with Mobileye’s real time collision prevention technology initially as part of Transport for London’s Safety Innovation Fund we trialled the technology on 3 Central London bus routes at Battersea depot for 11 periods, involving 66 vehicles and 200 drivers. The results were astounding with a 26% reduction in avoidable collisions and a 36% reduction in avoidable on-board customer injuries year on year. Following the successful trial, a business case was approved to fit our entire fleet with the technology. Installations are now underway and will be completed before the end of the year. Beddington depot installed 47% of their fleet in the first period and we and saw a 52% reduction in collisions that same period. Drivers like the technology, seeing it as a real time assist for them in their busy roles plus it’s easy to use and many of them have similar technology in their personal cars. Through this project Abellio London are improving road safety in London and playing our part in working towards Vision Zero.

Noting that Abellio London was so impressed with the results of the trial with Mobileye that it installed the system on all its buses, the judges thought this was an excellent use of pump-priming by TfL to fund the trial. Abellio made adjustments to the system for its local conditions and there’s now something that other operators can use.

Winner, Silver Award, CrewPLAN – Omnibus

CrewPLAN is a software solution provided by Omnibus and is used by bus companies across the world to create driver duties, quickly and efficiently. This computerised duty compilation tool already provides market leading results, however Omnibus set out on a project to utilise the latest improvements in computer technology to enhance their product, believing it could greatly improve the efficiency, not only of the duties created, but of the schedulers themselves. After engaging with companies from across the UK bus industry, the project evolved to include new features and enhanced functionality, resulting in a far more powerful and effective tool which allows users to harness the full power of an improved iterative algorithm lying at the core of the new software. Early testing of the new and improved CrewPLAN software has seen some schedules achieving an increase in efficiency of up to 4%. Further to this, tests at one company has shown that savings of nearly £500,000 could be achieved within just one year. These early headline figures are, to say the least, encouraging and Omnibus hope see similar improvements in efficiency being achieved as they roll their new software out to customers, saving millions of pounds nationwide.

Commenting that anything that saves cost and improves efficiency is worth rewarding, the judges gave the silver to Omnibus for its Crew Plan software.

Winner, Bronze Award, Newbury e-paper next bus pilot – West Berkshire Council

West Berkshire Council was the first in the UK to introduce an electronic e-paper information screen powered by solar energy. This followed discussions with supplier Papercast, following a presentation they made at the Smarter Travel Live event. Our pilot e-paper screen consisted of a ruggedised, IP65-rated, solar powered, single monocrome display. The screen and associated solar cell are bracketed to a 76mm diameter street sign pole. This was fitted by Externiture, who did all the civil works. R2P and Papercast installed the screen and solar cell, after liaising to ensure the compatibility of the data feed. The screen displays the next local bus arrivals – route number, destination and when, in minutes away, they are due. It also displays the same information for the staff Vodafone Buses. A general customer information section is also available. The location for the e-paper pilot was beside the main bus shelter for passengers at the Park Way residential, leisure and retail development in Newbury. Papercast also provided access to a password-protected portal that enables the information displayed on the screen to be seen and status of the pilot unit, covering such things as battery % charge, to be monitored live.

The judges really liked this new approach to giving real time information at bus stops.

Finalist, Mirrorless CCTV – First Glasgow

In October 2018, as part of their new service 18 bus launch, First Glasgow captured the imagination of the industry by becoming the first commercial operator to unveil mirrorless CCTV technology to replace the tradition wing mirrors on one of their new fleet as part of their latest investment of ultra-low emission buses built by Alexander Dennis in Falkirk. Andrew Jarvis, Managing Director for First Glasgow: “First Glasgow are delighted to be working with Alexander Dennis and 21st Century Technology on the trial of a camera system which replaces conventional external rear view mirrors with four cameras and two interior displays. The system is intended to avoid the sun and light glare that mirrors can sometimes be subject to, as well as being designed to offer better visibility at night and in rainy conditions. It automatically adjusts to the light conditions and should also do away with lateral blind spots as well as eliminate the risk of collisions between the nearside mirror and a pedestrian. Following a successful trial on one of our 75 service buses and excellent feedback from our drivers, we have decided to extend this to 10 more vehicles fitted with this technology for our new Glasgow Airport Express buses. We will be monitoring the performance of the system and assessing the feedback from our driving team in order to inform any future decisions.”

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