New York City’s new vehicles are purchased with automatic braking technology, a change that hasn’t increased procurement costs.
 - Photo courtesy of New York City

New York City’s new vehicles are purchased with automatic braking technology, a change that hasn’t increased procurement costs.

Photo courtesy of New York City

New York City is acquiring safer fleet vehicles. In 2014, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio implemented “Vision Zero,” which aims to end traffic deaths and injuries on the streets of New York. With more than 30,000 units, the New York City fleet can make a significant impact on this goal, so it developed a Safe Fleet Transition Plan to implement the safest technologies for the more than 100 types of units the fleet operates.

Executing this plan meant spec’ing safety technology — automatic braking in particular. Through its fleet tracking system, the fleet learned rear-end collisions are the top cause of injuries within the fleet. With the right technology, these crashes can be prevented — and affordably.

New York City determined that rear-end crashes were the most common collisions reported, and decided to combat this by changing the safety features included in its vehicles.
 - Graph courtesy of New York City

New York City determined that rear-end crashes were the most common collisions reported, and decided to combat this by changing the safety features included in its vehicles.

Graph courtesy of New York City

“Automatic braking offers the prospect to directly address the top issue we face and pay for itself,” said Keith Kerman, NYC chief fleet officer and deputy commissioner, Department of Citywide Administrative Services. “Interestingly, we have not seen appreciable specific increases in costs for light-duty vehicles for our first nearly 1,000 units received or on order with automatic braking.”

Investing in vehicles equipped with automatic braking is actually likely to save the fleet money in the long run. “In any given year, NYC can spend more than $100 million on litigation relating to fleet events,” Kerman explained. “In partnership with our Office of Management and Budget, we have launched an initiative to reduce these costs, and the Safe Fleet specifications plan is an important part.”


Editor's Note: This story is part two of a four-part series on the cost impact of procurement. Click here to read part three about the City of Austin's efforts to go green.


Related: Fleets Make Streets Safer with Vision Zero Initiative

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