Edinburgh self-driving buses launch date announced, as 'world-first' trial set to go ahead
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The 14-mile route will travel between Ferrytoll Park and Ride in Fife and Edinburgh Park, crossing the Forth Road Bridge and travelling up to 50mph in mixed traffic. The service will run every day, from Monday to Sunday, running up to every 30 minutes. While there will be no driver operating the vehicle, each bus will have a human ‘Captain’, who will be on board to help customers with any problems. The self-driving buses will also have a ‘safety driver’ behind the wheel, who will monitor the system and take control if necessary.
The service will be the first full-sized autonomous bus in the UK and one of the most advanced trials of this technology in the world. Stagecoach has claimed that the technology is “safer than even the most experienced human drivers”. The transport operator says it aims to provide “a novel experience for some and a new reliable transport link for others”.
The new buses have been through testing, and successfully transported a group of 22 passengers along the route in February. One of these passengers, Fleur, said: “It was quite exciting, the thought of getting on for the first time, I wasn't worried at all about it – you wouldn't know the difference between this and a normal bus from the driving.”