Scotland is to host the trial of the first autonomous full-sized passenger bus fleet after Innovate UK announced funding to support a successful bid from bus operator Stagecoach along with partners Transport Scotland, Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL),Fusion Processing Ltd, Edinburgh Napier University and University of West of England.
The trial – to begin during 2019 – will include five autonomous single deck vehicles which will run between Fife and Edinburgh across the Forth Road Bridge.
The bus – operated by Stagecoach East Scotland – will be used autonomously to Level 4 standard which means that a driver must remain on board during any journey in line with UK regulations.
Funding of £4.35million has been awarded by the UK Government through Innovate UK with additional investment from operator Stagecoach, Transport Scotland, vehicle manufacturer ADL, technology company Fusion Processing Ltd, and mobility services specialist ESP Group.
Once complete, the 11.8m ADL Enviro200 vehicles will operate between Ferrytoll Park & Ride facility in Fife and the Edinburgh Park Train and Tram interchange. The bus will use both on-road and hard shoulder running, and will use the dedicated public transport corridor across the Forth Road Bridge that allows buses and taxis to use dedicated lanes between the M9 near Newbridge and Halbeath in Fife.
The autonomous buses will provide a service capable of carrying up to 42 passengers 14miles across the Forth Bridge to Edinburgh Park Train and Tram interchange. With buses every 20 minutes this could provide an estimated 10,000 weekly journeys.
THE CAVFORTH BUS
Fusion Processing has developed state-of-the-art technology to autonomise vehicles and improve the safety of vulnerable road users.
CAVForth is is comprised of a consortium of partners to build, test and deliver an autonomous scheduled bus service.
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