Connexxion goes mirrorless

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Connexxion (a part of Transdev Netherlands) has specified cameras in 156 new electric buses instead of external mirrors, which it says makes it the first bus operator in the Netherlands to use cameras in this way.

Transdev has ordered 156 buses from Ebusco for the Amstelland-Meerlanden and Haarlem-Ijmond concessions, which will enter service at the end of this year, each bus having two external cameras, linked to internal monitors.

Transdev-owned Connexxion is to introduce the Netherlands’ first fleet of buses fitted with external cameras instead of mirrors. EBUSCO

The screen for the left (driver’s) side will be mounted on the ‘A’ pillar, and the screen that shows the right side of the vehicle has been mounted closer to the centre. Both of these positions are in the driver’s normal line of sight.

Before Transdev decided to adopt the system, a whole team, including drivers, tested the system thoroughly, and straight away they were very enthusiastic, said the operator. “They immediately said that the view with the camera system was better than normal mirrors, especially in the dark and at dusk,” said Connexion’s Sumir Faruqi.

Drivers will learn to use the system in the company’s own Connexxion Academy, although the tests showed that the drivers did not need much time to get used to this new system.

Transdev said it wanted to invest in this new technology so that its employees would be safer and more comfortable. The cameras particularly improve vision at dusk and in the evening, as well as reducing the risk of vehicle damage: “In the evening, the image from the HD camera is still crystal clear,” Sumir explained. “There are no mirrors sticking out any more, so the bus is not as wide as a bus with normal mirrors. This means there is less chance of damage to the bus and less risk to its surroundings.” The vehicles will be thoroughly tested before they go into service, and Sumir said that he expects other Dutch operators to quickly follow suit: “I expect several transport companies to start using cameras soon.”