New Jersey Transit unveils plan to install 360-degree cameras on buses that will protect pedestrians, riders and motorists by increasing bus drivers’ awareness of their surroundings.
The $29.1 million 360-degree camera system will be installed in 2,500 new and existing NJ TRANSIT buses to provide operators with a 360-degree field of vision around the bus that will help to eliminate blind spots and enhance pedestrian safety. Each new bus that is delivered as part of ongoing equipment procurement will already be equipped with this technology, while existing buses will be retrofitted. The project will be implemented starting in Fiscal Year 2018.
The 360-degree camera system utilizes four external ultrawide-angle cameras mounted on the front, rear and sides of the bus that capture the surrounding areas of the vehicle, including blind spots. Each camera covers one full side of the vehicle, with a viewing angle of more than 180 degrees. The four live images are then simultaneously sent to an electronic control unit, where they are processed, combined, blended and stitched into a single image, as well as corrected to accommodate any distortion from the wide-angle camera lens. This single image is displayed on a monitor to give the operator a real-time “bird’s-eye” view of the vehicle.
“Presenting all-around visibility in one image saves the operator from having to process information from several mirrors in quick succession, making it easier to identify possible hazards,” said Steven H. Santoro, NJ TRANSIT Executive Director. “We began testing the camera program in March and feedback from drivers has been positive.”
In addition to the 360-degree bus camera project, NJ TRANSIT will roll out seven additional safety and technology projects in the coming year, including an enhanced “MyTix” electronic, mobile ticketing application that will increase functionality and intermodal ticketing options. NJ TRANSIT also is preparing to begin preliminary engineering and design on a significant expansion of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail/Route 440 and the TTF supplemental funding will continue progress on the development of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Northern Branch expansion and Camden-Glassboro light rail projects. In all, the supplemental funding will pay for 14 public transit projects.