Alexander Dennis will build three Enviro100AEV autonomous buses for the consortium delivering the Connector project in Cambridge.

Backed by Innovate UK, the Connector project consortium is led by the Greater Cambridge Partnership and already included bus operator Stagecoach, IPG Automotive, dRISK and Gamma Energy. It is part funded and supported by the UK Government’s Centre for Connected & Autonomous Vehicles.

The Enviro100AEV buses for Project Connector will be built later in 2024 and are expected to enter service in 2025 following a period of testing and training for the autonomous bus professionals who will act as safety drivers to provide on-board supervision.

Alexander Dennis – Fusion Processing buses for Cambridge

Alexander Dennis and its technology partner Fusion Processing Ltd, a leading provider of automated drive systems, have both joined Connector to provide three Enviro100AEV electric autonomous buses as part of a four-vehicle fleet delivering services in Cambridge.

The Alexander Dennis Enviro100AEV is a version of the next-generation Enviro100EV that has been fitted with autonomous vehicle technology.

Alexander Dennis, Fusion Processing Ltd and Stagecoach are also involved in “the world’s most advanced and complex SAE Level 4 autonomous bus service”, as the partners say, in the CAVForth project in Scotland. The Connector project will build on this and previous experience to adapt the vehicle and its technology for services at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, the largest centre of medical research and health science in Europe.

Connector project live in Cambridge

Chris Gall, Group Engineering Director for Alexander Dennis, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen to join the Project Connector consortium with our Enviro100AEV autonomous electric bus. This is a fantastic opportunity to further the development of this technology with our partners as we continue to explore use cases where autonomous buses can improve operational efficiency and add flexibility to transport networks.”

Jim Hutchinson, CEO of Fusion Processing Ltd, said: “Our CAVStar® Automated Drive System will provide the sensors, control modules and software that will allow the project vehicles to drive autonomously on the Cambridge routes, showcasing a safe and efficient new type of public transport system.”

Cllr Elisa Meschini, Chair of the Greater Cambridge Partnership’s Executive Board, said: “For Cambridge to thrive now and in the future, the area needs the infrastructure and mass public transport systems to cope with the demand – autonomous vehicles are one part of this solution. It will be really exciting to see what was once considered to be fanciful science fiction to be out on our roads giving people choice in how they travel so I look forward to seeing how the pilots go.”

Andy Williams, Chair of the GCP Smart Working Group, said: “It’s great to welcome Alexander Dennis and Fusion Processing Ltd to the Connector project. Their expertise and experience will play a crucial role in bringing innovative self-driving bus services to Greater Cambridge as part of this project. We’re committed to delivering safe, efficient, and important public transport solutions for people who live, work, or visit Cambridge. The inclusion of these two new partners, to an already strong consortium, allows us to move forward with confidence and deliver real benefits to our community.”

Highlights

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