The design of the UK’s first full-sized autonomous bus has been revealed, with the driverless bus expected to run between Fife and Edinburgh from summer 2022.
Alexander Dennis Limited, Stagecoach, Fusion Processing and Transport Scotland have revealed the first glimpse of the new livery for the autonomous buses.
The CAVForth trial will see four Alexander Dennis Enviro200 single-deck buses running a 14-mile route crossing the Forth Road Bridge. It will provide capacity for up to 10,000 passengers a week, connecting Ferrytoll Park & Ride in Fife with the Edinburgh Park transport hub.
The four Enviro200 buses, which will feature the new livery, are currently being fitted out with sensor and control technology developed and supplied by project lead, Fusion Processing Ltd, that allows them to become computer-driven.
Virtual and track testing will be used to ensure all systems are functioning as expected before on-road testing begins later this year.
Jim Hutchinson, Fusion Processing Ltd CEO, said: “We are delighted to be leading on the world’s most complex and ambitious autonomous vehicle programme. CAVForth is an exciting pilot service and a great demonstration of our automated vehicle technology. The vehicles are fitted with CAVstar, our automated driving system which combines our own hardware and software to create, safe, AV Level 4 full sized buses.
“The buses will be operating on a 28-mile round trip route that includes motorways, single carriageway A-roads, minor roads, bus lanes, roundabouts and junctions with and without traffic lights. We believe it will be the most comprehensive Autonomous bus demonstration to date.”
The colours and design were chosen through consultation with local communities and a decision made to ensure the vehicles stand out on the road.
The design of the livery is intended to ensure that it still feels like a regular bus whilst also acknowledging the array of project partners. This includes Stagecoach, Fusion Processing, ADL, Transport Scotland, Edinburgh Napier University, Bristol Robotics Lab, University of the West of England, as well as the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles as funding partner.
Scottish minister for transport, Graeme Dey, said: “This is another welcome step forward for the incredibly exciting Project CAVForth, as we move closer to seeing it go live next year. This type of innovation shows Scotland is very much open for business when it comes to trialling this technology. This ground-breaking and globally significant project will really help the country establish its credentials on the world stage.”