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The London Borough of Ealing won a TIDE award for its cycle safety shield for lorries

19 October 2015

At the TIDE project final conference that took place in Barcelona on 15-16 September, the London Borough of Ealing has been awarded the TIDE award in the Innovative Transport City Category for its cycle safety shield for Lorries that enables the latter to detect vulnerable road users and hence greatly diminishes any risk of collision. With this award the TIDE project wanted to reward the London Borough of Ealing  for its courage to introduce this innovative and daring measure to meet urban transport challenges in a sustainable and effective way.

Why this measure?

London Borough of Ealing has excellent radial transport links with the centre of London but orbital movement to neighbouring areas is difficult with routes frequently congested with traffic. Encouraging more cycling and public transport use is therefore key to mitigating these issues. To increase road safety, Ealing Council took a proactive lead in developing a new system to deal with road casualties, particularly lorry and cyclist collisions.

Development and testing of the Cycle Safety Shield

Ealing Council researched various existing technologies for dealing with issue of cyclist and lorry collisions but could not find a comprehensive system that worked as a collision avoidance system that warned lorry drivers of a potential collision with only cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists (filtering out other inanimate objects to eliminate repetitive and unnecessary alarms)

The Cycle Safety Shield was delivered in collaboration with commercial and public sector partners during a six month trial period (end of 2013 until mid-2014). During this period the Cycle Safety Shield has potentially stopped 15 serious collisions and improved fuel efficiency and driver behaviour.

The Cycle Safety Shield system developed included:

  • Pedestrian, cyclist and motorcycle collision warnings
  • Headway Monitoring
  • Forward Collision Monitoring
  • High Beam Control
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Speed Monitoring
  • 360 degree cameras
  • Fresnel Lenses and sideguards
  • Audio and visual warnings
  • Location and time of each warning given
  • Location in real time – used as vehicle tracking system
  • Driver reports

Results

  • Over forty thousand detections by the system of a (PCM) over the trial period BUT the driver was only alerted with an audio and flashing display 15 times during the same period
  • Data showed that the majority of serious collision alerts which were given to the driver (telling them to break) happened on the left hand side of the vehicle when either travelling straight or turning left
  • The driver during the trial reported that the system helped improve his driving by eliminating bad habits, was not annoying like other systems that repeatedly picked up all inanimate objects compared to other standard detection systems on the market, helped avoid several collisions as it gave him time to brake after being warned.
  • The Cycle safety shield potentially stopped 15 serious collisions happening between the HGV and a PCM.
  • Overall vehicle fuel efficiency improved by 8% throughout the trial period

The Cycle Shield technology is currently being rolled out on Ealing Council’s fleet of Large Goods Vehicles (LGVs), while other council contractors are also implementing these sensors. Negotiations are progressing for the wider take up of this system across Greater London.

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