Hamburg’s truck fleet fully equipped with turning assistants

Around 1,500 vehicles fitted with assistance systems. Improved safety for cyclists and pedestrians
16 February 2022

The City of Hamburg has equipped its entire truck fleet with Turning Assistants. The systems built into vehicles of more than 3.5 tonnes warn the drivers when cyclists or pedestrians are in their blind spots and are invisible to them. The aim is to avoid accidents when turning. Hamburg is seen as leading the way in converting the trucks used by its city authorities and public companies. According to information provided by the city, around 900 city vehicles of more than 7.5 tonnes and 600 vehicles of more than 3.5 tonnes have been fitted with turning assistants since the launch of the Senate initiative at the start of 2020. 

Turning assistants are there to save lives

“Equipping our entire fleet of city utility vehicles was a huge feat that has paid off and has made Hamburg’s roads considerably safer, particularly for those travelling by bicycle,” Senator for the Interior Andy Grote says. The cost for retrofitting the vehicles runs to around 3.5 million euros in total, according to information from the city authorities. Most of the conversions were done in the fire services and in the city cleansing department. Christian Schwarz, head of the Hamburg Fire Services, said: “Particularly with urgent call-outs, the systems provide the drivers of our emergency vehicles with improved working safety.”

The intention now is for Hamburg’s transport companies to follow the conversion of the city truck fleet, Hamburg Transport Senator Anjes Tjarks said. The Hochbahn is accordingly to equip its bus fleet with bus-specific turning assistants by the end of the year. The VHH bus operator intends to follow by the end of 2023. Several private companies, including the hauliers Dachser, Zoder and Elkawe, recently joined the Senate initiative as well.

Hamburg leads the way in Germany

As the first major city in Germany, Hamburg launched a large-scale practical test for turning assistant systems in various vehicle types in 2019. The purchase of turning assistants for city authorities and companies was as a result eased in the context of a framework agreement with the manufacturers. Compulsory installation of turning assistants for all new trucks and buses across the EU is planned only from mid-2024. There will be no obligation to retrofit older vehicles.