A year-long pilot project is aiming to make Montreal buses safer using rear view cameras and high definition screens in place of traditional rear-view mirrors.
This kind of system helps reduce vehicle blind spots, increases the driver’s field of vision and improves visibility in darkness, bright sunlight, tunnels, rain, snow, etc.
Two buses equipped with rear-view cameras are being tested as part of a one-year pilot project to assess the cameras’ performance and test their reliability in a wide variety of conditions.
The cameras are installed at the front of the bus, one on the left and one on the right.
Some European cities already have buses with rear-view cameras, and in North America, the STM is one of the first transit providers to conduct testing with this type of system.
The benefits include reducing blind spots and making buses less vulnerable to damage from collisions than traditional rear-view mirrors due to their compact size and higher placement on the vehicle. The display screens are located on the pillars to the left and right of the driver’s compartment, allowing drivers to maintain their visual scanning habits at the wheel. This makes it easier to transition from buses with regular rear-view mirrors to ones with cameras.
The cameras will be kept clean in winter using a pneumatic system already present on all STM buses, directing a jet of forced air into the camera lens.
Another expected benefit is sustainability. Every day, buses are serviced on the road or returned to the garage because of rear-view mirrors broken due to collisions. Replacing mirrors with these more compact and sturdier cameras should improve the quality of service by maintaining buses on the road longer.