The UK’s first fully electric self-driving bus has begun a commuter service on public roads

The Mi-Link bus makes a six-mile (10km) round trip from Didcot Parkway railway station to Milton Park in Oxfordshire.

The 15-seat vehicle has been running circuits of the science and technology park since January.

Operator First Bus said the bus’ radar, LiDAR and AI technology could safely steer, accelerate and brake without the need for human intervention.

The firm’s head of policy, John Birtwistle, said: “We’re encouraged by the popularity of the autonomous bus service since it began operating.

“This embraces zero-emission and digital technology to provide a smarter, cleaner and quieter way to travel.”

The single-deck bus is designed to react faster and see further in bad weather than a human driver.

It has a safety driver who is able to take over at any point and take full manual control if needed.

Milton Park said the £4.3m Mi-Link project, which also includes a fleet of free electric hire bikes, would reduce the number of car journeys for its 9,000 workers.

The bus service will run every 40 minutes, six days a week.

In May, the UK’s first full-sized driverless buses began operations in Edinburgh.


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