Blind Spot Awareness / Safe Turn Alert

Blind Spot Awareness / Safe Turn Alert
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Protran Technology

Blind Spot Awareness / Safe Turn Alert

This article first appeared in the Bus-News magazine, Issue 2 2022.

Bus to Pedestrian Mitigation with Collision Avoidance

Safe Turn Alert (STA) and Blind Spot Awareness (BSA) are two safety products from Protran, geared at addressing potentially dangerous conditions that arise when buses make turns in busy traffic intersections.

This article describes how these two products help bus operators reduce accidents that occur when buses collide with pedestrians and bicyclists.

Buses are designed to protect passengers in the event of catastrophic roll-overs. The RollOver Protection System (ROPS) includes structural beams, designed to take the weight of the bus in case it flips over. The so-called ‘A-pillar’ is the one at the front of the bus. Because it is structurally re-enforcing, it typically has a large cross-section.

As a result, it blocks the view of the driver, as shown in Figure 1. The bus industry has not been able to solve this problem other than offering surveillance camera-based solutions, but those may distract the driver. Figure 2 shows the blind spots during a right turn. Figure 3 shows a busy intersection in a major US city. Note the pedestrian in or very close to the driver’s blind angle.

Safe Turn Alert (STA)

STA consists of a sensor and a control unit that detects when a bus-driver initiates a turn. The STA system delivers an audible alert to pedestrians and bicyclists on the outside. The message comes out of speakers mounted on the outside. During a turn, the bus makes an announcement such as ‘Attention, bus is turning’.

By alerting pedestrians through an audible warning, pedestrians and bicyclists get roughly two additional seconds to react to a turning bus – which often is the difference between an impact and a nonimpact.

Download the full PDF here.

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