Barrier-less bus for Paralympians

Bridgestone Corporation, the official tyre partner for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, was able to produce a new solution that will ensure barrier-less bus access at the newly constructed athlete village for the Games. Leveraging its knowledge of commercial bus tyres and rubber, Bridgestone worked with a collaborative group in Japan to develop a new curbstone design that will allow buses to pull closer to the curb.

The design includes a specially engineered slope that interacts more smoothly with the shape of the tyre to decrease sidewall wear and vibration on the tyre. It can also be customised to fit common tyre and vehicle sizes that use a specific curb location.

The result is a significantly smaller gap between the curb and the bus entrance, which provides easier and safer boarding opportunities for passengers – especially wheelchair users, passengers using strollers, and senior citizens.

This barrier-less docking system was introduced in Okayama, Japan, in June 2019. It has since been adopted by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government too.

The first installation at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Athlete Village will be completed next month and will include nearly 395m of curb designed to accommodate a wide variety of tyre and vehicle sizes.

Bridgestone continues to work with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and other metro areas to identify future locations for this new solution that will benefit people across Japan beyond Tokyo 2020.

“Bridgestone was founded on a mission of serving society and we bring that to life every day through our efforts to improve how people move, live, work and play,” says Masaaki Tsuya, CEO of Bridgestone Corporation. “We have some of the top experts in tyre and rubber science committed to solving the evolving needs and challenges of a world in constant motion.

“Through projects like this, we’re focused on leveraging our vast knowledge to help create advanced solutions that remove barriers and increase accessibility for all people – in public bus transportation and beyond.”

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games are one of several upcoming milestone moments where Bridgestone will showcase its new industry-leading technology concepts and ongoing transformation.

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