Crash prevention system to be deployed on public buses

System that can detect pedestrians, bikes and speed limits - and warn drivers - is set to be installed in three public vehicles this month

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 15 June, 2014, 3:47pm
UPDATED : Monday, 16 June, 2014, 9:02am

Tests on a crash prevention system that can detect pedestrians and bicycles and read roadside speed-limit signs will be extended to public buses this month.

Three buses of New World First Bus and Citybus will go on the road installed with the Israeli-developed Mobileye, a system consisting of a camera and a small display screen priced at about HK$10,000.

Drivers hear a warning when they are too close to cars in front, or are approaching pedestrians or cyclists at an unsafe speed.

The system is capable of reading speed-limit panels on roads and will warn drivers when they are speeding.

Another warning would also sound when drivers switched lanes without signalling, engineer Ben Wong Chun-kau of Neshtech, who introduced the system to Hong Kong, said.

"So if a driver is dozing off, it could wake him up," he said.

Wong said the company had also developed an accompanying device that would log data, so the behaviour of drivers could be analysed.

Cars made by BMW and General Motors have already installed Mobileye, which was introduced to the city two years ago.

Wong said two taxis, 10 minibuses and one school bus were also running the system, with the MTR Corporation having recently started a trial of Mobileye on a feeder bus.

But the MTR Corp said only that a "driver assistance system" would be tested on one of its buses, without elaborating.

KMB said it had tested Mobileye on three patrol cars earlier this year, but declined to reveal the results.

As of last month, the city recorded 6,207 traffic accidents with injuries, of which 31 were fatal and 860 were classified by the police as "serious".

British cyclist Colin Robertson was killed after a cargo van ran into him near Tung Chung on June 5. The 55-year-old van driver was arrested.

In February, a minibus driver and eight of his passengers were injured when the bus slammed into the back of a van that had suddenly changed lanes.

A 12-year-old boy died in November after being hit by a car as he ran onto the road from the pavement to catch a bus to school in Sai Kung.

In November 2012, three people were killed in a pile-up after a New World First Bus driver blacked out at the wheel.