First Full-Sized Self-Driving Bus To Soon Be Tested On Roads In The UK
By Alexa Heah, 26 Apr 2022
CAVForth, the UK’s first full-sized autonomous bus, will be taking to the roads of Scotland for the first time as part of its live test drive.
Slated to set off on its pilot service later this summer, the project was jointly funded by the UK Government’s Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and the vehicle’s creators, Fusion Processing, ADL, Stagecoach, and Transport Scotland.
During the live test, five of the level four single-deck self-driving buses will travel over the Forth Road Bridge between Ferrytoll Park and Ride in Fife and the Edinburgh Park Train and Tram interchange.
How will the bus know exactly where to go? Well, the vehicle will make use of its innovative sensor and control technology that allows it to run smoothly on pre-selected roads without having a human take over the wheel.
If the project proves successful, these buses will be able to carry up to 36 passengers over the 14-mile distance, and could even fetch over 10,000 passengers per week.
As part of the initiative, 500 members of the public have been surveyed on their thoughts about autonomous buses, giving feedback on measures that would make them more comfortable and confident about traveling on driverless vehicles.
Based on their input, it was determined that future self-driving bus services should include a member of staff on board to put commuters’ minds at ease.
These ‘Autonomous Bus Professionals’ will serve as an accompaniment to the bus ‘Captain’, who will move around the vehicle, talking to passengers and answering any questions they may have during the ride.
“On road testing is an exciting milestone in the development of autonomous commercial vehicles and we look forward to welcoming passengers onboard in a few months’ time,” said Jim Hutchinson, Fusion Processing Ltd CEO.
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