Full-sized autonomous bus begins testing on public roads in Scotland
The UK's first full-sized autonomous bus has taken to public roads of Scotland for the first time this week for a test run for project CAVForth. The autonomous vehicle project is funded by the UK government to lay the foundational stone for the future of mobility where passengers can travel in autonomous buses safety without the need of a safety driver.
Trending CarsFind More Cars
The test run will take place for two weeks and see five single-decker autonomous buses travelling on a 14-mile route. A staff member will be onboard each autonomous bus. After completion of successful test runs, the service is expected to open up for passengers later this year. Each bus has a capacity of carrying 36 passengers at a time while the service will have the capacity for over 10,000 passengers a week.
Before setting out on the roads of Scotland, the buses completed a series of depot-based trails, track testing, and virtual simulations. CAVForth also sought input from around 500 members of the public for feedback about how the bus should operate.
The CAVForth pilot project is jointly funded by the UK Government, Stagecoach and Transport Scotland. Stagecoach will soon begin recruiting 20 autonomous bus professionals to monitor the autonomous bus systems when they go live. A captain will move around the saloon interacting with passengers, answering questions they may have, demonstrating what a future service might feel like when the staff member is able to leave the cab while the computer does the driving.
The buses will operate at SAE Level 4, which means the system does not expect the driver to take over. However, the vehicle might come equipped with driver controls. “This is a hugely exciting project for Scotland and we are pleased to be starting live testing on roads. This is a major step forward in our journey to fully launch the UK’s first full-sized autonomous bus service," said Sam Greer, Regional Director for Stagecoach in Scotland.