Scotland has had its first glimpse of Europe’s first full-sized autonomous bus, at the Connected and Autonomous Vehicles Summit (CAV Scotland).
The Alexander Dennis Enviro200 bus demonstrated at the event has already carried out extensive trials at transportation group Stagecoach’s depot in Manchester in the first part of the autonomous bus project, and will take part in a trial on the Forth Road Bridge in east central Scotland in 2020.
Stagecoach, Alexander Dennis and Fusion Processing are working with Transport Scotland, Bristol Robotics Laboratory and Napier University on Project CAVForth, which will see five autonomous buses operating between Ferrytoll Park & Ride in Fife and the Edinburgh Park train and tram interchange in 2020. These buses, which are currently in development, will have additional autonomous technology installed that enables them to run on selected roads.
The buses – which will be operated by Stagecoach East Scotland – will provide a service capable of carrying up to 42 passengers the 14 miles across the bridge, with capacity for up to 10,000 passengers a week. They will operate to Level 4 standard, which means that a driver will remain on board during any journey, in line with UK regulations.
Martin Griffiths, chief executive of Stagecoach Group, said, “Our industry, customers and employees can benefit hugely from autonomous technology as it can make services safer and more efficient, and help to deliver better journeys. We’re also investing heavily in the skills and development of our people. Alongside new technology developments, our employees will continue to play a critical role in delivering sustainable mobility services that our customers trust and rely on.