ESP part of successful consortium to trial autonomous buses across the Forth Bridge

Posted on 23rd November 2018

ESP Group is to be part of an exciting Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) project, Project CAV Forth, which will deliver a pioneering 12-month trial of autonomous buses on Scottish roads. The project is expected to revolutionise the future of transport, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark MP has announced today.

This exciting and challenging project will provide a world-leading demonstration of UK autonomous bus capability on the Forth Road Bridge – a UNESCO heritage site with global interest.

 The project will trial full size, 12m, single-decker buses operating at Level 4 autonomy along a 14-mile route from the Ferrytoll Park & Ride facility in Fife to the Edinburgh Park Train and Tram interchange, crossing the Forth Bridge. Viaqqio, ESP’s future mobility division will lead ESP’s involvement, while the project will be led by UK autonomous vehicle technology company, Fusion Processing Ltd. Other partners include operator Stagecoach, the Scottish Government, vehicle manufacturer ADL and Napier University.

Viaqqio, which is already active in the Capri CAV Project CAPRI, will utilise their expertise in user research, service design and Mobility as a Service (MaaS) to work with citizens and stakeholders to design the required user touchpoints for the new AV bus service.  The company will also utilise their existing MaaS platform to build and deliver the tailored user touchpoints for the 12-month pilot, considering the need for the service to integrate with other local transport services. ESP Group’s dedicated transport customer support centre, Journeycall, will also be engaged to provide phone and webchat support to the trial participants.

 Designing transport services which really work for our communities is a core focus for Viaqqio. Beth Cocker, Head of Design and Consultancy at Viaqqio, has welcomed the pilot, she said: “I am thrilled Viaqqio and our other ESP divisions are able to be part of such a revolutionary movement in the future of transport. We will use MaaS approaches within this CAV project, with the primary aim of making travel easier for people through the provision of a single platform for people to plan, book and pay for all their transport.

“I am confident all partners view this project as an opportunity to explore a real step change in how a bus service is delivered and to drive integrated, accessible mobility options.”

For more information, please contact Laura Rhoney – laura.rhoney@the-espgroup.com

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