The London borough of Ealing has won two awards for its development of an innovative new lorry safety system which warns drivers when cyclists and pedestrians are near. Ealing was the first borough to commit to fitting the Cycle Safety Shield system to all of its LGV fleet, backed by funding from Transport for London.
Last month, London won the award for best Innovative Transport City at a Transport Innovation Deployment for Europe (TIDE) event in Barcelona. More recently, Ealing Borough Council was given a Fleet Safety Analysis and Action Award by road safety charity, Brake.
Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabernet member for transport and environment at Ealing Council said:
“It is an honour to be recognised by a charity such as Brake for our innovative work to improve road safety for cyclists, pedestrians and other road users. This is particularly important as LGVs are involved in two thirds of cyclist deaths in London. I am also delighted that our innovation has been recognised by colleagues in Europe.”
The recognition comes from having helped develop Cycle Safety Shield. The system uses 360 degree cameras to pick out cyclists and pedestrians. If they get too close an alarm sounds and a red light in the shape of a person flashes in the cab. Crucially, intelligent image recognition technology cuts down on false warnings that might desensitise the driver. On top of this, a flashing sign on the side of the lorry combines with a recorded warning to let cyclists know when a vehicle is indicating to turn left.
Other features include a lane departure warning, intelligent high beam control, a forward collision warning and speed monitoring. A trial of the system in 2013 and 2014 showed that 15 potential collisions with cyclists had been avoided with improved driving habits also resulting in estimated fuel savings of £1,000 per vehicle per year.
Here’s a short video.
Ealing council is currently installing Cycle Safety Shield on all of its LGVs and its highways and recycling and waste contractors, Murrill Construction and Amey, are also adding the system to their vehicles.
Speaking at the TIDE event, Jon Guest, director of Cycle Safety Shield said:
“Ealing council are setting a benchmark for road safety in London and their work fully complements the Mayor’s safer lorry scheme. We are very proud to be involved and to have accepted the award alongside Ealing at such a prestigious international award ceremony. The fact that the cycle safety shield project is being recognised internationally is an amazing achievement and shows London is leading the way for innovation.”