MIDTOWN — Hundreds of city buses will be outfitted with technology to warn both pedestrians and drivers of potential collisions as part of a new pilot program, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.
A pedestrian warning signal will automatically trigger external audio and visual alerts when the bus makes a turn and collision avoidance technology will use a camera system to alert bus drivers to nearby pedestrians, vehicles and cyclists.
Based on the success of the pilot program, the MTA will install the systems on up to 1,600 buses beginning in mid-2018.
“Increasing safety is a critically important part of our drive to enhance, renew and improve the MTA,” Cuomo said in a statement. “These upgrades will leverage new technology to make our streets safer, protect pedestrians and motorists, and build a stronger mass transit system.”
External speakers, which adjust to the ambient noise level on the street, will sound on the turning-side of the bus. The MTA is also working to develop a visual-alert system as well, according to officials, which will start to be installed by 2017.
The MTA started field testing the system last November on four buses in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn.
The expanded pilot program will test it on 200 buses on lines including the Q32, Q17, Q41, B36, B17 and B6.
The collision avoidance system will use smart-sensor cameras to alert the driver with audible and visible warnings when pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles are within 45 to 60 feet of the front and side of the bus. Drivers have tested the technology on two buses in Brooklyn.
The full program will involve 100 buses on routes including the B46, B38 and M42.