Wheelchair availability on TfL Bus Serviece - and shown on Countdown idicators

I’m just back from the TfL Access All Areas Accessible Transport Exhibition and I disucessed with some TfL people the issue of bus wheelchair space management.

There are two issues to overcome:

  • How to detect if the wheelchair space is in use; and
  • How to communicate this live information to passengers.

There are two ways to implement the space-occupied status:

  • Use the on-bus CCTV cameras train an AI Machine Learning system to know when a Wheelchair user is on the bus, When this is working, provide a live feed of the status output (not the CCTV, just the status); or
  • Use a physical Vehicle Detection Sensors to detect the space in use and provide this to public server.

Once the status from every TfL bus is being collected, it should be a very simple matter to add this to the data sent to the Countdown screens at bus-stops, perhaps adding in the traditional wheelchair symbol?

I learnt that TfL keep their bus CCTV recordings for 30 days, so there is a month’s worth of data that could be fed to some human and then an off the shelf Machine Learning system. Then there is an ongoing set of data to validate the trained system.

Perhaps Google Cloud Platform could offer some resources?

Hi Brian,

This all sounds very promising. When will the ‘TfL bus passenger tracking trial’ get underway? I’m sure this will assist in choosing the correct means of data collection to properly capture the information needed?

That event seems not to have been well publicised.

It ought to have been listed at https://blog.tfl.gov.uk/category/news/ – a page that has had no updates whatsoever since 2018.

It would be very helpful to find out how the tracking trial went and if it was successful in its motives.