A full-sized autonomous bus service was opened to the general public in Scotland, United Kingdom, on May 15. The AB1 service runs on a 22.5-kilometre route with five buses operating a scheduled passenger service throughout the week. The vehicles will travel in mixed traffic up to over 80 kilometers per hour.
AB1 is believed to be the first registered bus service in the world to use full-sized autonomous buses. The trial, which will now run until 2025, aims to demonstrate autonomous technology in a real-world environment transporting up to 10,000 passengers per week. During this time, the team behind the service will make improvements and monitor the benefits for passengers, operations and society.
The new autonomous technology service is the result of almost ten years of research and development from Fusion Processing Ltd, with their CAVStar system having covered over 1.8 million kilometres in tests. A fleet of five Alexander Dennis Enviro200AV vehicles will cover the new 14-mile route, in mixed traffic, at up to 50 miles per hour across the Forth Road Bridge from Ferrytoll Park & Ride, in Fife to Edinburgh Park Transport Interchange.
The service will have two staff members on board: a Safety Driver in the driver’s seat to monitor the technology, and a ‘Captain’ in the saloon to take tickets and answer customers’ questions.