Wednesday 17 May 2023

New Technology To Control Speeds of Buses on Cambridgeshire Guided Busway

New technology designed to automatically reduce the speed of vehicles entering safety zones is being rolled out on Cambridgeshire guided busway services.

Stagecoach East says the rollout marks the first time this technology has been used this way on board buses in the UK, and globally on a guided busway vehicle.

Terry Absalom, engineering director for Stagecoach East, said: “Our number one priority is the safety of local people, which is why we have worked tirelessly over the last two years alongside our partners at Volvo Buses to develop and adapt this innovative system for use on our Cambridge busway.

“This is the very first time that Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) technology will be used in the UK to automatically reduce a vehicle’s speed using the vehicle’s retarder, and we are very proud to be the first bus operator in the world to launch this system on a guided busway setting.”

He added: “We have provided extensive training for our drivers and look forward to the prospect of having this technology rolled out to other bus operations in the future.”

The ISA technology is designed to automatically reduce the speed of vehicles entering speed safety zones.

Stagecoach East has been working with Volvo Bus, which developed the software, in the UK and Europe over the past 18 months to make the system operational.

The guided busway was opened in 2011 and is owned by Cambridgeshire County Council.

It carries three million passengers a year between Cambridge, Huntingdon and St Ives, with two guided sections making up 16 miles of the route.

Cllr Alex Beckett, chair of the council’s highways and transport committee, said: “I’m pleased Stagecoach has fitted their buses with this new intelligent system. I look forward to it being rolled out across the guided busway.”

The system is set to provide effective speed limit compliance, with flexibility to cope with numerous and different speed safety zones, to improve road safety and reduce the risk of accidents.

Domenico Bondi, managing director of Volvo Bus UK & Ireland, added: “We see this level of technology as being key to creating smoother and safer urban transport for the future, and it’s an integral part of what we can offer to customers as one of the world’s largest manufacturers of commercial vehicles.”

Video of the busway here