Visitors to Coach & Bus UK, being held at the NEC Birmingham on 2-3 October, will get an opportunity to enjoy a ride in the UK’s first full-sized autonomous bus.
The 11.5m Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) manufactured Enviro200 single-deck vehicle, fitted with Fusion Processing’s CAVstar® control and sensing system, is being trialled by Stagecoach. While, next year, a fleet of five similar autonomous buses will be taking part in a larger (government-funded) trial – billed as a world’s first – carrying passengers across Scotland’s Forth Bridge.
For those that don’t want to wait until 2020 to see this ground-breaking technology in action, there’s an exclusive series of trade-only demos taking place across both days of Coach & Bus UK this autumn (a safety driver will be on board in line with UK regulations).
Event director Helen Conway comments: “Coach & Bus UK, and its biennial sister show Euro Bus Expo, has been at the forefront of promoting revolutionary, world-leading industry innovations and technologies for well over a decade. Our visitors have been among the first to see some of the most significant tech advances for the nation’s coach, bus and mini-vehicle operators in recent years – including low- and zero-emission vehicles, low-floor entry vehicles, smart ticketing, real-time passenger information, passenger safety, wireless chargers, and more.
“In 2017, for example, Project Insight Autonomous Transportation exhibited its self-driving Pod. Now, just two years later, that autonomous vehicle (AV) technology developed by Fusion Processing has been successfully applied to full-sized buses – in collaboration with Stagecoach and long-time show exhibitor ADL. Best of all, it will be available (not just to see) but to experience in the outside display area at this year’s event.
“It’s sure to be a big draw and we’re delighted to be able to offer our visitors this UK exclusive.”
Jim Hutchinson, CEO of Fusion Processing, says: “Fusion Processing are looking forward to demonstrating the UK’s first full-sized autonomous bus at Coach & Bus UK. We firmly believe technological advances such as this, need to be shared with the widest possible audience to ensure we develop products people want to use and feel safe on onboard.
“Developed in partnership with Stagecoach and ADL, this bus is a precursor to a fleet of five autonomous buses that will service a 14-mile route from Edinburgh to Fife next year. We hope you’ll join us at Coach & Bus UK to experience the autonomous bus for yourself.”