An fleet of five autonomous buses to run across the Forth Bridge north of Edinburgh is one of three new driverless projects announced by the British Government.
Project CAV Forth, led by Fusion Processing, will bring together organisations from across the UK to develop a high capacity Autonomous Bus Pilot Service across the Forth Bridge – a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The project will convert five full-size Alexander Dennis single decker manually driven buses into autonomous vehicles. These self-driving buses will provide a service capable of carrying up to 42 passengers 14miles across the Forth Bridge to Edinburgh Park Train and Tram interchange.
The Government says that with buses every 20 minutes this could provide an estimated 10,000 weekly journeys, and support the case for rolling out similar services across the UK.
The three projects were selected following a competitive process and will share a £25 million government grant through the fourth round of the Connected and Autonomous Vehicles Intelligent Mobility Fund.
Each pilot combines the strengths of leading names from business, technology and academia – including Jaguar Land Rover, Addison Lee, Fusion Processing, Oxbotica, and the universities of Nottingham and the West of England – and support the government’s ambition to have self-driving vehicles on UK roads by 2021 through the modern Industrial Strategy and Future of Mobility Grand Challenge.
The other winners were Project Apollo – led by Addison Lee with Oxbotica, Nominet, Immense Solutions and DG Cities, which will develop and deploy 4 autonomous taxi pilot services, that increase in complexity and distance in Greenwich, London and ServCity developing a mobility service in London using six autonomous Land Rover Discovery vehicles in four London boroughs and led by Jaguar Land Rover with Addison Lee, Transport Systems Catapult, TRL and the University of Nottingham.