ComfortDelGro Bus, Singapore’s largest unscheduled bus operator, will be rolling out four new Volvo B8R 49-seater buses, which come with a Driver Support System that has a built-in Collision Warning & Emergency Brake (CWEB) feature. This means that the bus is equipped to brake automatically and come to a stop if it “senses” a collision is about to take place.
This is how it works: A radar-based sensor and a camera are activated once the bus accelerates past 15km/h. When it detects a potential collision with another vehicle, the system alerts the driver through a blinking red light on the dashboard and a beeping sound. If the driver still does not respond, the system immediately initiates soft braking before applying full braking power to bring the bus to a complete stop before any collision happens.
The system also comes with a lane-keeping assist function that alerts the bus driver when the bus veers into other lanes. Similarly, the braking system kicks in if it senses a frontal collision threat.
Mr Pang Weng Heng, CEO of ComfortDelGro Bus said: “As a private bus operator, safety is key. With its ability to intervene and stop the bus before a frontal collision happens, Volvo’s CWEB feature is a welcomed safety enhancement that will help our bus drivers avoid critical situations and accidents.”
“Volvo has always been at the forefront of technology – with safety as its prime focus. For Volvo, safety is more than just developing innovative safety solutions in our products. We believe that we have an overall responsibility in society and that we have an important role to play when it comes to making road traffic safer for everyone. Available on all Volvo coaches, we are extremely proud to have partnered with ComfortDelGro Bus to launch our new safety system in Singapore,” said Mr Mats Nilsson, Director of Volvo Buses Region Singapore.
As there are plans to purchase more of such buses over the next two years, six ComfortDelGro bus drivers have undergone training about the in-built CWEB feature. Amongst them is Mr Lim Chye Whatt, ComfortDelGro bus driver of 17 years. Said the 56-year-old: “I think this CWEB feature is helpful as it alerts me when I am not keeping to my lane. But of course, at the end of the day, as a driver, I need to be aware of my surroundings and not just rely on the machine.”
This is not the first time that ComfortDelGro Bus has leveraged on technology to enhance the safety of its buses. A year ago, it implemented GreenRoad – a telematics solution – on 32 buses that provide shuttle services at the National University of Singapore’s Kent Ridge Campus to better manage its drivers’ driving skills and behaviour.