A driverless bus has taken passengers across the Forth Road Bridge ahead of the launch of the UK's first autonomous bus service next week. From Monday, May 15, up to 10,000 passengers a week could use the service between Ferry Toll near Inverkeithing and Edinburgh Park. It is due to run on a trial basis until 2025.
Two members of staff will be aboard each of the five Stagecoach buses, but although one will sit behind the wheel they will not be driving the bus. Instead they will monitor sensors, cameras and radar outside the bus, but they can take over control if necessary.
Transport minister Kevin Stewart, who was one of the passengers on board, said: “It's absolutely fantastic to see this autonomous bus testing here. We want Scotland to be at the very forefront of this technology. I'm pleased to have had the opportunity to travel on one of these autonomous vehicles. I felt very safe on the bus, there has been a huge amount of testing. There were staff on board. I hope the people of Fife and Edinburgh and see for themselves just how safe all of this is. We need people to use public transport more, whether that be buses or trains. We're doing all that we can to encourage people on to public transport. This adds to the mix and we have a way to go in terms of that change.”