‘Bus Turning Left’: MTA Tests ‘Talking’ Buses

NEW YORK ( AP/Hamodia) -
MTA buses in front of Brooklyn Supreme Court on Adams Street in 2013.
MTA buses in front of Brooklyn Supreme Court on Adams Street in 2013.

When some New York City public buses announce they’re planning to turn, they won’t just signal — they’ll speak.

The MTA plans to test what’s called “talking bus” technology next fall. The vehicles will get exterior speakers to play pre-recorded messages to alert pedestrians when the bus is turning instead of just turning on the blinkers.

Another “collision avoidance” pilot in the works will use radar and sensors to detect — and then alert — bus drivers of pedestrians, bicyclists and cars in the immediate vicinity, including so-called “blind spots.”

ProTran, the company that has equipped bus fleets in other cities, says the system automatically adjusts the volume of the announcements. The volume rises when the din of traffic is high but drops when the streets are quiet.