Vehicles will run on electric power through Brighton & Hove’s ULEZ
Brighton & Hove Buses and Metrobus are to add 30 new ADL Enviro400H buses to their most popular routes by September.
As part of the £9.2m investment, the buses will also be fitted with SmartVision mirrorless camera monitoring systems from 21st Century.
The new vehicles should run on electric power only through Brighton & Hove’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), a technique known as geofencing.
Despite being hybrids, the buses’ electric motors provide drive at all times. A small diesel generator is used to top up the battery but does not drive the wheels. Regenerative braking provides the bulk of the recharging on the move.
When the buses are running in zero-emissions mode – through the ULEZ – not even the generator will be operating.
They’ll be introduced on route 5, one of the city’s busiest bus routes, which serves areas including Hove, Hollingbury, Hangleton, Preston Park and Patcham. The order is also the largest for a commercial operation in the UK to-date to feature mirrorless camera monitoring systems, Brighton & Hove says.
Brighton & Hove and Metrobus’ Engineering Director, Steve Ambury, said the new cameras would dramatically enhance visibility for bus drivers and improve safety: “The peripheral view and the clarity of the picture on the monitors is far better than normal mirrors. It’s much easier to spot a bike coming down the side of the vehicle, for example. It shows it from a long way away.”
Drivers will no longer have to deal with reflection or glare from the sun on their wing mirrors and driving at night or in the rain is much easier as the cameras automatically adjust to changing light conditions.
Software removes distortion from raindrops or dirt on the camera lens, further improving visibility.
The mirrorless system does away with the possibility of mirrors being affected by condensation or ice because the cameras have their own heating mechanism to stop this from happening.
Bus driver and Unite the Union representative Mark Baldey drove a demonstration bus fitted with the system and walked away impressed: “The picture quality is amazing and the angle is much wider.”
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