Study Finds Vision-based Transit Bus Pedestrian Collision Avoidance System Cost-Effective on Routes with High Crash Frequencies.

The Florida DOT in collaboration with university researchers evaluated collision avoidance systems (CAS) installed on Miami-Dade County buses.

Date Posted

Testing of a Vision-Based Pedestrian Collision Warning System on Transit Vehicles

Summary Information

The Florida DOT (FDOT), in collaboration with the Miami-Dade County Public Works Department, initiated a research project to evaluate the effectiveness of Collision Avoidance Systems (CAS) technologies designed to reduce potential conflicts between transit vehicles and pedestrians at urban intersections.

A small-scale test was conducted in Miami-Dade County with the goal of helping agencies in Florida and around the nation make better decisions regarding investments in these systems.

In order to evaluate the return-on-investment for CAS technologies, a benefit-to-cost analysis was conducted across three scenarios. The first two scenarios included installing the technology on two bus routes (Routes 119 and 120) that were among the routes with the highest number of bus crashes in Miami-Dade County. The third scenario included installing the system on all buses in the county.

For the return-on-investment analyses, the researchers assigned costs of $10,000 for crashes only with property damage, and $120,000 for more severe crashes. There were no fatal crashes during the study period on the two routes analyzed. Due to the sample size and lack of reliable estimates for fatal crashes, the authors did not attempt to estimate these costs in the per-route analyses. 

The results indicated that CAS technology would be cost-effective if installed on buses serving routes with high-crash frequencies such as routes 119 and 120, where benefit-to-cost ratios ranged from 1.86 to 1.24, respectively.  However, based on the analysis, installing the system on all buses across Miami-Dade County may not be cost effective.