Fusion Processing, creator of autonomous drive systems for buses, has been selected by First Group and Oxford County Council to provide an autonomous electric minibus to the MultiCAV project.
The Autonomous Level 4 minibus will be operated by First Bus in and around Milton Park, the 250-acre, high-tech business and science hub near Didcot. The vehicles will travel on public roads around Milton Park and connect to the nearby railway station.
Fusion will provide its CAVStar automated driving system, which will be installed in the 15-seater electric minibus. This system provides all sensors, computer units, communications units, control modules and software to enable CAV Level 4 operation.
Fusion Processing’s CEO, Jim Hutchinson, said; “We’re delighted to be selected by an important autonomous bus project, MultiCAV, to provide our CAVstar automated drive system for use on an electric minibus.
“Autonomous vehicle technology can offer great benefits to the public transport and commercial vehicle sectors, and we have focused on understanding vehicle operators and providing a practical autonomous vehicle system that meets their requirements. The MultiCAV project will demonstrate how automated vehicles can provide effective on-demand transport on local routes, and we are thrilled to be a part of it.”
The MultiCAV project aims to provide multi-modal Mobility as a Service (MaaS), including all electric CAVs: shuttles, bus, taxi and eBikes. For the first time, it extends real passenger carrying services by a range of autonomous vehicles, into mixed traffic on UK public roads.
Duncan Enright, cabinet member for travel and development strategy, added: “As a highly innovative and world-leading research-based economy, we are delighted to be supporting this trial in Oxfordshire.
“Connected and autonomous transport will have a vital role to play in our economic and sustainable recovery and it will also open up a range of benefits in our fight against climate change and congestion combined with connected communities. This service will ultimately be a great service to workers at Milton Park, connecting people and communities in a sustainable way with locations of innovative growth and employment.”