Alexander Dennis, a subsidiary of NFI Group Inc., one of the world’s leading independent global bus manufacturers, today announced that its Enviro200AV autonomous bus for the CAVForth project has been recognised as Vehicle of the Year at the UK’s first dedicated awards for connected and autonomous vehicles.
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 17th November 2023.
In a collaborative achievement, bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis, autonomous system provider Fusion Processing, and public transport operator Stagecoach clinched the prestigious Vehicle of the Year award. The recognition highlights the importance of public transport when considering what the future of mobility could look like and honours the partners’ effort in launching the UK’s first full-size autonomous bus service.
The award-winning bus is a standard Alexander Dennis single decker that has been fitted with cutting-edge technology and an eye-catching livery. Five of these autonomous buses have been in service in Scotland since May 2023 as part of the CAVForth project, carrying thousands of passengers and covering over 70,000 miles in autonomous mode.
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, said: “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 no.1, for themselves!”
The Self-Driving Industry Awards are presented by Cars of the Future (www.carsofthefuture.co.uk). They recognise outstanding contributions to developing and implementing self-driving technology across various sectors. The partners’ success shows their leadership in driving innovation and fostering a future where autonomous transportation is a reality.
The Mayor of Margate, Cllr Rob Yates, presents the Vehicle of the Year award to Peter Stephens of Stagecoach (left) and Matthew Lawrence of Alexander Dennis (right)
CAVForth is a collaborative project part-funded by the UK Government’s Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles. Led by Fusion Processing Ltd, it involves Stagecoach, Alexander Dennis, Transport Scotland, Edinburgh Napier University, Bristol Robotics Lab, and the University of the West of England.
The 14-mile CAVForth service from Fife into Edinburgh across the Forth Road Bridge was launched to the public in May 2023. It 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.