Bus and Coach

UK’s first automated and zero emission bus joins the road

14 September 2023 #Bus and Coach

A single-decker bus with both automated driving and zero tailpipe emissions has taken to the road in a landmark UK trial.

The MetroCity 1080EV, manufactured by Switch in Yorkshire, entered operation with First Bus on its Mi-Link 003 service from 7 September. It will carry passengers between Didcot Parkway train station and Milton Park, the science, technology and business community in Oxfordshire, home to more than 270 companies and 9,000 employees.

The 28-seater bus will run every 30 minutes from 7am to 6.30pm, Monday to Saturday, until the trial’s conclusion on 30 September.

Automated drive capability is provided by Fusion Processing’s CAVstar Automated Drive System which includes an intelligent controller and high-performance processor combined with range of sensors including radar, LiDAR and cameras to control steering, acceleration and braking without the need for human intervention.

This latest phase of the UK’s only zero emission automated bus trials builds on the service operated by an all-electric Mellor Orion E minibus which began in June and ran for seven weeks, clocking up more than 3,000 miles.

It followed a pilot with the smaller bus in March using a circular route within Milton Park, which is situated between Didcot and Abingdon.

John Birtwistle, Head of Policy at First Bus and leading the MultiCAV consortium delivering the service, said: “The next phase in this ground-breaking bus service gives us the opportunity to show more customers the exciting possibilities afforded by combining zero emission and digital autonomous technology to provide a smarter, cleaner and quieter way to travel.”

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