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Autonomous Bus No.1 (AB1), by Stagecoach, is the UK's first self-driving bus service. Launching this summer between Ferrytoll Park & Ride in Fife and Edinburgh Park’s transport interchange, the 14mile route takes in the iconic Forth Bridges.
AB1 will operate a full Monday to Sunday timetable, running up to every 20mins. The autonomous bus service is fully accessible with a human ‘Captain’ on board to offer information, assistance and reassurance.
Excited? Curious? Read on to find out more.
What is an Autonomous Bus?
Sometimes referred to as self-driving, driverless or robot-cars…
Autonomous vehicles are those that have been automated to be able to drive themselves by computer, without any intervention from a human.
The AB1 service will be the first full-sized autonomous bus in the UK and one of the most advanced trials of this technology in the world as it will be a timetabled, registered public service completely open for anyone to use.
It will provide a novel experience for some and a new reliable transport link for others.
Why should I trust an Autonomous Bus?
At Stagecoach, safety is our top priority, and this trial service is no different.
We follow the latest government regulations and standards around autonomous vehicle technology. We have had our formal ‘Safety Case’ audited by independent experts. For peace of mind, we will also always have a safety driver behind the wheel monitoring the system and ready to take control.
With the ability to see 360°, react faster and see further in bad weather, all while being risk-averse and not getting tired or distracted, the technology is designed to be safer than even the most experienced human drivers.
How will I use the Autonomous Bus?
Using an Autonomous Bus will be very similar to a regular experience of travelling on a traditional Stagecoach service.
Journey information will be available on our app, on 3rd party journey planners, and timetables will be available on location. The bus will stop at every stop, so there is no need to worry about hailing. You will be invited to board by one of our friendly Captains who can offer support, assistance and reassurance as you settle in for the journey – the only difference being that they will check/dispense your tickets once the vehicle has set off rather than when boarding. Simply press the bell as normal to get off at the next stop.
We won't think it’s weird if you say thank you to the computer when alighting! J
Why are you trialling Autonomous Buses?
Autonomous vehicles are tipped to offer many benefits to the transport industry and society, from safer, greener roads to better customer experience. It could also provide improved access to transport through lower operating costs.
At Stagecoach, we recognise the value of innovation and have been continually improving our services for over 40 years. We want to learn about this technology first-hand and understand how it could impact our passengers, staff, business, and society.
Experience the UK’s first Autonomous Bus service
If you have any further questions or feedback on our autonomous bus service, please don't hesitate to get in touch. [email protected]
Join the conversation on Social: #StagecoachAB1
CAVForth is part funded by the UK Governments Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles and is a Proud Partnership between Stagecoach, Fusion Processing, Alexander Dennis, Transport Scotland, Edinburgh Napier University, Bristol Robotics Lab & the University of the West of England.
For industry content including how to bring autonomous bus to your site, city or country, visit our consortium website for more info: CAVForth.com