The Alexander Dennis Enviro200AV autonomous bus used for the CAVForth project has been recognised as ‘Vehicle of the Year’ at the UK’s first dedicated awards for connected and autonomous vehicles. The winners of the Self-Driving Industry Awards 2023 were announced by Cars of the Future at a ceremony at the Turner Contemporary art gallery in Margate on 17 November.
A collaborative achievement with autonomous system provider Fusion Processing and operator Stagecoach, the recognition was said to highlight the importance of public transport when considering what the future of mobility could look like, as well as honouring the partners’ effort in launching the UK’s first full-size autonomous bus service. Five of the autonomous buses have been in service in Scotland since May this year and have covered over 70,000 miles in autonomous mode so far.
Matthew Lawrence, Fleet Sales Director at Alexander Dennis, accepted the award on behalf of the engineering team and said: “We are honoured to receive the Vehicle of the Year award at the inaugural Self-Driving Industry Awards for our first fleet of Enviro200AV. This achievement is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our engineering team and partners. Together, we are driving the future of autonomous transportation, setting new benchmarks for passenger experience, safety, efficiency, and sustainability.”
Peter Stephens, Policy and External Affairs Director for Stagecoach, added: “We are proud to have provided the first autonomous bus fleet to the UK and the first service to our local communities in East Scotland. This Self-Driving Industry Award stands as a testament to the belief of our partners, our staff, and our customers, who have all put their trust in our vision. The service is live, and we invite anyone to come experience AB1, autonomous bus number 1, for themselves.”
The 14-mile CAVForth service from Fife into Edinburgh across the Forth Road Bridge was launched to the public in May, and will continue to be developed with the follow-up CAVForth2 project, which will extend the route into Dunfermline city centre and add an electric Alexander Dennis Enviro100AEV small bus to the fleet.