• Videos show warning system helps bus drivers in close-call scenarios

    By: Natasha Chen

    Updated:

    In videos collected by the University of Washington from 38 public buses across Puget Sound, pilot technology is seen displaying a warning to bus drivers when pedestrians, cyclists or other cars suddenly come close to colliding with the bus.

    The study started in March, including transit agencies like King County Metro and Kitsap Transit. The data will continue to be collected through June.

    Ruimin Ke, a PhD candidate working on the project, said he feels excited and encouraged in being part of the project.

    Ke showed KIRO 7 the online platform developed by Roscoe to track the use of their product in 38 buses across the region. Each bus is tracked, and video is collected from each incident when the warnings go off.
    On Wednesday, KIRO 7 observed the system in action while aboard a Kitsap Transit bus in Bremerton.

    Three displays at the left, center and right of the driver turns yellow or red, depending on the severity of the risk. It also shows drivers if they’re going over the speed limit and what their following distance is to the next car.

    “I really like the following distance part. I’m not the speed check is an added value, because I think most drivers know their speed pretty well,” said Lane DeLarme, who drives for Kitsap Transit. “The big prize is the pedestrian part. I love that idea. It needs some work. But that’s what we’re doing this for.”

    In Kitsap County, there are an average of 43 collisions a year, most of which are with other vehicles.

    In 2015, 58 percent of the ones involving monetary claims were deemed preventable.

    In King County, there are an average of 24 collisions with pedestrians each year. About a quarter of them were deemed to be preventable.

    New York is the only other region that has so far tested this system.

    Next Up: