Service starts

Driverless buses to operate from next month

Driverless bus

Driverless bus developed for the new service

Driverless buses will begin operating schedule services in the east of Scotland from next month in what has been hailed as a groundbreaking project.

Five Alexander Dennis “autonomous” buses will carry passengers along a 14-mile route across the Forth Road Bridge from 15 May.

The launch of scheduled services follows the completion of an extensive testing programme and registration of the bus service by Stagecoach. 

CAVForth is a joint project of Fusion Processing, Stagecoach, Alexander Dennis, Transport Scotland, Edinburgh Napier University and Bristol Robotics Lab which is part funded by the UK Government’s Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles.

It is one of the most complex projects of its kind worldwide and will be the first registered service in the UK to use full-sized autonomous buses.

Buses will travel in mixed traffic at up to 50mph and will have the capacity for about 10,000 journeys per week.

Two members of staff will be on board, one safety driver in the driver’s seat to monitor the technology, and a ‘captain’ in the saloon to take tickets and answer customers’ questions.

Scotland’s Minister for Transport, Kevin Stewart, 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.”

Jamie Wilson, head of concepts & advanced engineering at Alexander Dennis, said: “Our Enviro200AV autonomous buses will demonstrate latest innovation in vehicle technology.”

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