Last modified on September 26, 2023

UK’s first fully autonomous bus service has launched in Scotland

UK’s first fully autonomous bus service has launched in Scotland

26 September 2023

In May 2023, Scotland welcomed five autonomous buses into passenger service, marking a milestone in the £6.1 million (US$7.4 million) CAVForth project. Funded in part by the UK Government’s Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV), this achievement represents the first registered bus service using full-sized autonomous buses in the UK and Europe.

The five autonomous buses cover a 14-mile route from Ferrytoll Park & Ride in Fife to Edinburgh Park Transport Interchange, navigating mixed traffic at speeds of up to 50 mph. This service can accommodate around 10,000 passengers weekly, with the route carefully selected for the project’s specific needs.

One of the key benefits of autonomous buses is their potential to save up to 20% on fuel compared to manually driven vehicles, addressing operational costs and emissions. By reducing fuel consumption and minimising brake wear, passengers also enjoy a smoother and more comfortable ride.

The first phase, CAVForth I, is ongoing and will run until November 2023, collecting essential data on performance, passenger experience, and economic viability. The subsequent phase, CAVForth II will extend the route by five miles into Dunfermline city center, introducing more complex autonomous driving scenarios. This phase is scheduled to run until at least March 2025.

Source: TTI – September 2023 Issue here.