Scotland's CAVForth awarded top marks


The Project CAVForth autonomous bus has won the top prize at an awards ceremony for the self-driving vehicles industry.

Since May, CAVForth has operated a scheduled service of five fully autonomous full-sized single decker buses across the Forth Road Bridge, with a capacity of 10,000 passengers per week.

Described as ‘the world’s most ambitious and complex autonomous bus pilot’, the project won vehicle of the year at the inaugural Self-driving Industry Awards, which were held at the Turner Contemporary in Margate last week.

Partners in the project are Stagecoach Group, Alexander Dennis, Transport Scotland, Napier University and the Bristol Robotics Lab.

The buses operate at AV Level 4, the highest level of autonomous vehicle technology currently permissible on public roads.

They have a trained safety driver onboard, who is not expected to touch the controls when the vehicle is in autonomous mode.

The Alexander Dennis Enviro200AV buses are derived from the manufacturer’s standard Enviro200 single decker, more than 8,000 of which are in operation across the UK.

The buses use Fusion Processing’s autonomous drive system, CAVStar, which utilises data from a suite of sensors, including cameras, LiDAR and radar together with artificial intelligence processing.

The vehicles travel in mixed traffic up to 50mph on a 14-mile route comprising A roads, motorways, bus lanes and private land with a range of complex traffic manoeuvres such as roundabouts, traffic lights, and motorway lane changes.

The CAVForth project was launched at CAV Scotland, part of Road Expo Scotland, in 2019 and trials were expected to start in 2020, but eventually began in spring 2022.

Road Expo Scotland, Scotland's largest dedicated road, transport and mobility event for Scottish local authorities, government and its commercial suppliers returns to the SEC, Glasgow next week on 28-29 November.

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