High tech buses take to London streets

Transport for London has begun trialling London buses with new technology built-in. These should be able to offer travellers Wi-Fi, smart top-deck seating read-outs and more detailed information screens with maps.

Currently TfL is testing out two London buses with the technology enabled. The route 12 bus between Dulwich and Oxford Circus and the RV1 bus between Covent Garden and Tower Hill are the first to trail the services.

The Wi-Fi service will give bus riders access to free internet so they can stay connected while on the move.

The intelligent seat sensor uses cameras to detect how many seats are empty on the top deck. This then displays the data downstairs so those who get on can decide whether to make the treacherous trail up the moving bus' stairs.

Finally new information screens will be installed that offer far more detail than current offerings. Not only will they read out bus stop information but they will also show a map and giving information about the area to passengers.

Interactive digital screens will also be introduced at Regent Street and in Kingston to deliver live bus information to those waiting.

Simon Reed, TfL’s head of technical services group, said: "London buses have always led the way with new technology on its network, benefiting the millions of passengers who make the most of the extensive network every day.  Innovation is a key theme of the Year of the Bus and we have worked with our suppliers to find new and innovative ways to further improve the experience of our passengers. These trials will establish whether this technology provides genuine benefits to people on the move."

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