Bridgestone Corporation (Bridgestone), the world’s largest tire and rubber manufacturer and the Official Tire Partner of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, today announced that its extensive tire and material expertise has helped produce a new solution that will deliver barrier-less bus access in the newly-constructed athlete village for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Leveraging its knowledge of commercial bus tires and rubber, Bridgestone is working with a collaborative group in Japan to develop a new curbstone design that allows buses to pull closer to the curb. The design of the curb includes a specially-engineered slope that more smoothly interacts with the shape of the tire to decrease tire sidewall wear and vibration. It can also be customized to fit common tire and vehicle sizes that use a specific curb location. The result is a significantly smaller gap between the curb and bus entrance, which provides easier and safer on-and-off access for passengers – especially wheelchair users, people with strollers, and senior citizens.
The new barrier-less docking system was first introduced in Okayama, Japan in June 2019 and is now being adopted by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. The first installation in Tokyo will be completed in February 2020 in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Village. The installation will include nearly 1,300 feet of curb designed to accommodate a wide variety of tire and vehicle sizes. Bridgestone continues to work with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and other metro areas to identify future locations for the 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,” said Masaaki Tsuya, Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and Representative Executive Officer, Bridgestone Corporation. “We have some of the world’s top experts in tire 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.”
Bridgestone does not manufacture nor sell the product, but has been responsible for its primary design, testing and verification as part of a collaboration with Yokohama National University, the Japan Transportation Planning Association, and Advance Co., Ltd.
As the only Worldwide Olympic and Paralympic Partner with its global headquarters in the host city, Bridgestone is proud to provide its products, services, solutions and advanced technologies to enhance the Tokyo 2020 experience for people of all abilities. The Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 are one of several upcoming milestone moments where Bridgestone will showcase its new, industry-leading technology concepts and ongoing transformation to become a truly global company.