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Europe’s First Self-Driving Buses Demonstrated

Europe’s first self-driving bus has been demonstrated in Glasgow, UK, and Volvo Buses demonstrated their autonomous electric bus at a bus depot in Gothenburg, Sweden. [1,2]

The bus tested in Glasgow is one of five autonomous buses set to serve up to 10,000 passengers a week between Fife and Edinburgh by 2020. The bus will be operated by Stagecoach East Scotland and will be used autonomously to Level 4 standard, meaning that a driver will always remain present on board during any journey (which are the UK regulations).

To watch the video of the demonstration, click here.

In the meantime, Volvo Buses have also demonstrated their autonomous electric bus at a real depot used by bus operator Keolis. During the demonstration, the fully-electric autonomous bus drove itself between the parking bay and several different workstations (such as cleaning, servicing, and electric charging) before parking itself in the correct bay. All of this while also carrying passengers. This functionality would enable operators to order buses to park, drive to the wash or charging station, all by themselves. Volvo Buses stated that bus operators will be able to buy these systems within 5-10 years.

To watch the video of Volvo’s demonstration, click here.


Personal comments

Autonomous buses are expected to bring serval benefits such as enhancing public transport and potentially decreasing trip costs. However, there are still many issues (legal, technical) that need to be dealt with in order to implement on a mass scale. But as Volvo stated, autonomous driving at a depot is a good environment for the first application of the technology.

Although demonstrations of self-driving city buses are gaining traction in Europe, it’s notable that public transit operator Shenzhen Bus Group started testing in China back in 2017.


Written by Mahdere DW Amanuel, RISE Viktoria.



1. 2019-11-13. Europe’s first full-sized autonomous bus trialled at CAV Scotland

2. 2019-11-16. Volvo Buses Demonstrates Autonomous Driving For Bus Depot