CAVForth self-driving bus 2022

Landmark moment for UK self-driving as CAVForth bus takes passengers

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UK self-driving public transport breakthrough as CAVForth bus takes passengers for first time

On 20 January, Fife Today brought us the self-driving news we’ve been waiting for since we interviewed Fusion Processing CEO Jim Hutchinson way back in April 2021…

Following the first full-sized autonomous bus trial on UK public roads last spring, CAVForth has officially taken passengers for the first time!

CAVForth self-driving bus trial, 2022
CAVForth self-driving bus trial, 2022

Part funded by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV), it will be the UK’s first registered service to use full-sized single-decker self-driving buses.

A fleet of five such vehicles will cover the 14-mile route from Ferrytoll Park and Ride in Fife to the Edinburgh Park Transport Interchange, a journey which takes them over the iconic Forth Road Bridge.

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Louise Simpson, CAVForth lead project manager for Stagecoach, said: “We’re really excited to have reached this major milestone in our project plan. Until now, only project team members had been able to trial the autonomous service.”

One of the lucky passengers, Fleur Dijkman, told the BBC: “I wasn’t worried at all. You wouldn’t know the difference between this and a normal bus.”

Ivan McKee, business minister for the Scottish government, added: “This is another hugely significant step forward for the CAVForth project. It brings us closer to these autonomous vehicles entering service.”

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Author: Neil Kennett

Neil is MD of Featurebank Ltd. He launched in 2019.