The UK’s first ever fully electric, autonomous bus service will be launching to the public at Milton Park, a leading science, technology and business community in Oxfordshire. This is following the project’s successful demonstration day on Monday 23 January that took place at the Park’s flexible workspace, the Bee House, attended by local leaders, occupiers, Buses Minister Richard Holden MP and the project’s consortium partners.
Using cutting-edge technology, the Mi-Link project features a 16-seat, single decker minibus which uses Fusion Processing Ltd’s CAVstar® Automated Drive System that combines a range of sensors including radar, LiDAR and optical cameras with state-of-the-art artificial intelligence to control all steering, acceleration and braking without the need for human intervention. As a fully electric and zero-emission service, the Mi-Link bus launch marks a pioneering step for the future of sustainable transport and mobility.
The innovative bus service offers passengers a free and green mode of travel from the Park’s flexible workspace, the Bee House, to its Milton Feast street food market area in a circular operation. A qualified safety driver is on board at all times, able to take control of the vehicle if required. The bus is also fully accessible for wheelchair and pram users
The Mi-Link journey planner, developed by Zipabout, has been customised for Milton Park to provide real-time updates on the service’s operation times between 7am to 6.30pm Monday to Saturday, running as often as every 15 minutes.
We’re thrilled that Milton Park was selected as the host location for the Mi-Link trials, maintaining the UK’s global position at the forefront of innovation. The delivery of this autonomous and fully electric public transport service aligns with Milton Park’s ongoing commitment to local sustainable transport initiatives. We’re fully supportive of this innovative project seeking to reduce single occupancy car use across Oxfordshire and beyond and are proud of the key role the Park is playing. We look forward to the full results of these trials as we step closer towards the exciting future of sustainable travel in the UK.
Veronica Reynolds, Sustainability and Community Manager at Milton Park