Self-driving buses will begin carrying passengers over Scotland’s Forth Road Bridge next month in what has been hailed as a world first.
Five single-decker buses will cover the 14-mile route from 15 May, carrying up to 10,000 passengers every week between Ferrytoll Park and ride in Fife and the Edinburgh Park train and tram interchange.
However, although the vehicles will use sensors to travel on pre-selected roads at up to 50mph, they will still need to be operated by two members of staff, twice as many as a normal bus.
This includes a safety driver in the driver’s seat to monitor the technology, and a bus captain to help passengers with boarding, buying tickets, and queries.
Currently, fully driverless cars are not legally permitted in the UK, and a safety driver is required at all times in all autonomous vehicles, although the government is working on an updated legal and assurance framework.
Stagecoach, the UK’s largest bus and coach operator, which is running the service, said the second member of staff would demonstrate what an autonomous service would feel like in the future when the driver can leave the cab. As the initiative is a trial to see how the technology works, there are no immediate plans to remove the driver from the cab.
According to theguardian