Feature Story

Smart cities call for smart buses

by Melissa Jun Rowley

technology for smart buses

See how buses are becoming safer and smarter.

Any city that wants to be a smart city needs smart vehicles on the road. That means it needs smart buses. In the state of Colorado alone, an average of two school bus crashes take place every day. Meanwhile, in London, over the past five years, one person a day  has been injured or killed by a bus. The number may not seem high to some, but with buses often being the largest and most recognizable vehicles on the street, bus fatalities are not taken lightly.

To reduce the number of people killed or injured on city roads, the Israeli technology firm Mobileye offers a new IoT system for cities engaging in the smart city race.

Elad Serfaty, VP and General Manager of the aftermarket division at Mobileye, says Mobileye’s vision is heavily focused on helping cities become smart cities “with a keen focus on eliminating preventable traffic fatalities."

See also: Logistics get a lot smarter 

The tech firm is working alongside the U.S. Department of Transportation and Secretary Anthony Foxx, on the Smart City Challenge, an initiative to work towards this goal of delivering a safer city of the future.

Designed to protect both people and property, Mobileye’s collision avoidance technology is installed directly into vehicles as either OEM (original equipment manufacturer) additions or an aftermarket product.

The tech’s secret sauce? It sees what the driver sees.

If a collision course is in the midst, the tech sends a visual and audio warning to the driver.
The tech’s secret sauce? It sees what the driver sees. Based on what the system visually processes, it can detect situations, such as impending collisions (whether vehicle, pedestrian or cyclist), vehicles leaving a lane without the use of turn signals, and headway monitoring. If a collision course is in the midst, the tech sends a visual and audio warning to the driver.

Additionally, Mobileye offers a Shield + system, which detects blind spots through four strategically placed vision sensors. This was made especially for larger vehicles such as trucks and buses.

What are the most innovative advances in road safety technology on the market?

With smart cars, self-driving cars, and smart highways emerging, it’s tough to filter through all the “smart city” noise and know which technologies are going to have a lasting impact.

When asked what the most innovative advances in road safety technology are, Serfaty said:

“The most fascinating advances revolve around developing mechanisms that work in tandem to achieve human-level perception—and even then surpassing it. When you think about it, humans drive based on vision, and it’s this vision that constructs inference and detection conclusions that determines whether or not you speed up, slow down, stop the car, or turn right or left at an upcoming intersection. We’re developing technologies today that use computer vision, alongside signal processing and machine learning, to create collision avoidance systems (and even then autonomous driving technology) that react to situations as a human would.”

So can our buses and ultimately our cities be as smart as humans? That’s another story. 



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