Big Bus Tours to install new safety systems across London fleet

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All 68 of the buses in the Big Bus Tours London fleet have been updated with SmartDrive Assurance. MIKE SHEATHER

Big Bus Tours has invested in SmartDrive Systems’ video-based driver risk management programme across its entire London fleet.

The operator has installed SmartDrive’s highest level of fleet protection, the SmartDrive Assurance programme, in each of its 68 London buses. This combines forward-facing and interior cameras with a fully managed analysis service, as well as the SmartDrive Extended Recording option.

“We are very safety conscious,” said Big Bus Tours’ Executive Vice-President of operations, Gerry Price. “We have a very useful existing telematics feed and we score our drivers against our internal benchmark.

“Using this technology, we have already driven our baseline scores from approximately 50 down to an average of 10 across all our city locations and 25% of our drivers maintain scores below four, which is very good.”

The SmartDrive system captures ‘triggered’ events, such as harsh braking or sudden course corrections, which causes 20 seconds of video to be captured, typically 10 seconds either side of the event. This is uploaded automatically via the cellular network, along with GPS positioning and base telematics data, to SmartDrive’s own review centre, where it is reviewed by its highly trained safety team.

The footage is analysed against dozens of pre-determined ‘observations’ or driver behaviours and assigned a risk-score in line with Big Bus Tours’ corporate policies, which is fed back to the company via a dedicated, secure online portal for use in driver coaching.

SmartDrive Systems runs extensive driver briefings and meetings to explain the system.

“Big Bus Tours is a high profile fleet in the UK’s busy capital,” said Andy Cozens, Director – Strategic Accounts Director EMEA, SmartDrive Systems. “Managing road-risk in an urban environment is a constant challenge. We’re confident that our managed, video-based analysis programme will provide The Big Bus Company with the insights they need to identify those risks and reduce them by changing driving behaviour.”