Thomas Built Buses Debuts Pedestrian Detection Prototype

Posted on July 17, 2018
When a pedestrian is detected, Thomas Built’s new system will alert the driver on an in-cabin tablet and through caution lights on the cross-view mirrors.
When a pedestrian is detected, Thomas Built’s new system will alert the driver on an in-cabin tablet and through caution lights on the cross-view mirrors.

HIGH POINT, N.C. — Thomas Built Buses debuted a prototype of its new pedestrian detection technology at the STN Expo on Tuesday.

Leslie Kilgore, vice president of engineering for Thomas Built Buses, said that the company has been working with MITO Corp. and CUB Group to develop the pedestrian detection system, and “the technology is 90% there.” The goal is to prevent accidents in the danger zone around the school bus, such as when students step too close or kneel down to pick something up.

“As diligent as bus drivers may be, sometimes they just can’t see a child around certain areas of the outside of the bus,” Kilgore said. “That’s the problem we are hoping to solve. With our new pedestrian detection system, we hope to avoid unnecessary pedestrian accidents in the front, back, and sides of our buses, even within blind spots.”

Part of the BusWise Technologies suite, the new pedestrian detection feature will consist of LED ground lights on the cross-view mirrors as well as multiple radar units on the 77GHz frequency band, which will be installed around a Thomas Built bus. These higher-frequency radars, which are used for autonomous vehicles and high-resolution meteorological observations, allow for more precise detection and measurement of a pedestrian or object within 10 feet of the school bus, according to Thomas Built Buses. When a pedestrian is detected, the system will alert the driver on an in-cabin tablet as well as through caution lights on the cross-view mirrors.

“We are fortunate to have partners like Thomas Built Buses that share the values of protecting the lives of school children,” said Dan Maloney, president of MITO Corp. “Along with our partners at CUB, our team strives to continually provide the finest and most thorough technology available to mitigate a tremendous issue facing the school transportation industry.”

“CUB is extremely excited to work with the industry leader, Thomas Built Buses, on such an important feature,” said Augustin Leung, vice president of the ADAS (advanced driver-assistance systems) division of CUB Group North America. “Saving lives and mitigating accidents is a key focus to CUB since we are an industry leader in ADAS and driver safety devices.”

Thomas Built Buses will show the pedestrian detection system at other upcoming shows and will announce a production date in the near future.

Related Topics: danger zone, school bus stops, Thomas Built Buses

Comments ( 2 )
  • Larry

     | about 2 years ago

    There are many of examples of different technologies and costs that have to be put on school buses because people don't do what they are supposed to do. For me, and I think most parents, a little extra assurance is money well spent. For well over a decade many States have installed child reminder systems on buses to force drivers to walk to the rear of the bus to check for children still on the bus, but yet we still have cases being reported of children left on buses. And for years we have struggled with vehicles running the lights on buses as the load and unload children, no matter what we have tried. The fact is we are all human, and people will make mistakes. I think most parents would want to give the driver all the help they can get.

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