'Driverless buses': first autonomous bus service over Forth Bridge set to start
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The groundbreaking ‘driverless’ vehicles will start to ferry passengers from Fife to the capital from Monday, May 15.
The CAVForth project is run by a number of organisations, including Stagecoach, and is one of the most complex projects of its kind worldwide. It will be the first registered service in the UK to use full-sized autonomous buses.
The launch date comes on the back of a successful pilot journey which saw passengers travel across the Forth Road Bridge for the first time in an autonomous bus.
The proposed 14-mile route from Ferrytoll Park and Ride in Fife to Edinburgh Park Transport Interchange has also been extended into Dunfermline city centre. A fleet of five vehicles will operate a frequent timetable with the capacity for around 10,000 journeys per week in mixed traffic, at up to 50mph.
Each vehicle will feature ‘bus captains’ who will be on board to re-assure passengers during their journey over the bridge with a safety driver in the driver’s seat to monitor the technology. They are also fitted with ground-breaking sensor that enables them to run on pre-selected roads without the safety driver having to intervene or take control.
Kevin Stewart MSP, Scotland’s Minister for Transport, said: “This is an exciting milestone for this innovative and ambitious project, and I very much look forward to seeing Project CAVForth take to the roads next month.
“Our trunk road network can provide a wide range of environments as a diverse testing ground, and the ground-breaking and globally significant Project CAVForth will really help Scotland establish its credentials on the world stage.”
The autonomous bruises were built by Falkirk-based Alexander Dennis.