Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp. said Tuesday it will market tourist buses fitted with a braking system capable of decelerating vehicles automatically in the event of a potential crash.
The new Aero Queen and Aero Ace buses, which will debut on the domestic market Jan. 15, use radar to detect and monitor vehicles and other objects in front of them. An alarm is first sounded to alert the driver of the crash danger before the brakes are applied automatically.
The firm said it is debuting the system since the government, in the wake of a deadly crash in April, plans to require that large buses be so equipped from November 2014.
In the April crash, which occurred on the Kanetsu Expressway, the tourist bus ran into the end of a 3-meter-high roadside wall, effectively splitting the vehicle in half, killing seven people and leaving more than 30 injured. The driver later said he had dozed off at the wheel, and police found no indications that he had applied the brakes before impact.