“Experience the Future of Transportation: 22 Passengers Take UK’s First Full-Size Autonomous Bus for a Test Drive”

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Stagecoach Launches Autonomous Bus Testing with 22 Passengers:

Stagecoach, the UK’s largest bus and coach operator, has launched a testing process for its full-size autonomous bus by bringing on board 22 passengers to experience the vehicle firsthand. The launch marks a new milestone in transportation technology as it moves closer to becoming commonplace across the nation.

Up To 50mph 

The service will use a fleet of five Alexander Dennis Enviro200AV vehicles, covering a 14-mile route, in mixed traffic, at up to 50mph across the Forth Road Bridge from Ferrytoll Park & Ride in Fife to Edinburgh Park Transport Interchange. It is anticipated that that the service will operate a frequent timetable with the capacity for around 10,000 journeys per week.

The Autonomous Journey

The autonomous bus journey began at Fife College’s Stenton Campus and took approximately 15 minutes to reach its final destination at Halbeath Park & Ride in Dunfermline. Throughout the journey, the bus remained connected to an experienced driver who was ready to take control of the vehicle if necessary. This approach has been a key part of the safety and assurance process in autonomous vehicle development, including how to navigate any potential traffic incidents or obstructions on the route.

Feedback from Passengers

The passengers who took part in the journey were surprised at how smooth and quiet the ride was. Many commented that it felt much like any other bus journey they had taken before, but with the added benefit of not being driven – allowing them to focus on their own tasks while they were travelling. The mood among passengers was positive as they experienced what could be a future reality for transportation across the UK.

Backing From Partners

Stagecoach is currently working with a range of partners in order to develop the technology and pave the way for autonomous buses to become an integral part of the UK’s transportation network. This includes both local councils and universities, who provide valuable insight into the needs of passengers while also offering support in testing and refining the vehicles before they are launched on public roads. The team at Stagecoach has also taken special precautions when it comes to safety – with all autonomous buses having an experienced driver onboard to take over if needed – in order to ensure that their operations meet safety standards.

Stagecoach’s Plans for Autonomous Buses

The successful testing is an important milestone for Stagecoach, which has set ambitious plans to roll out autonomous buses across the UK. While there is still a long way to go before this technology is commonplace, Stagecoach’s testing of the full-size vehicle provides confidence that they are on track to achieving their goal and that this technology will provide passengers with a safe, efficient and comfortable way to travel in the future.

Stagecoach has already announced plans for further testing of autonomous buses throughout 2021, as they continue to develop the technology to make sure it meets safety standards while also providing an enjoyable experience for passengers. As this process continues, we could soon see autonomous buses becoming a regular feature on our roads. ​​

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

For bus operators, an autonomous service on a fixed route could bring reduced operating costs and increased efficiency, hopefully improved safety, plus it could offer greater flexibility (24/7 operation), which could lead to increased service frequency and improved service quality. Also, operating a safe, successful, full size autonomous bus service in one part of the UK could increase confidence and lead to the introduction of similar services elsewhere.


The launch of Stagecoach’s autonomous bus testing process marks an important milestone in transportation technology as it moves closer to becoming commonplace across the nation. The successful journey with 22 passengers onboard has provided an indication of how smoothly and safely these vehicles can operate, enabling people to travel without worrying about traffic or safety concerns. With further development and testing, we could soon see communities around the UK making use of this innovative new way of travelling.