The world’s first fully driverless buses of regular size are coming to Scotland next week, so robot world domination seems more and more likely. Stagecoach has announced a new 14-mile route between Fife and Edinburgh with no driver behind the wheel starting from May 15. As the official launch date is fast approaching, the testing process is well under way, and we have the pics to prove it.
A total of five single-decker buses will be operating back and forth, starting at Ferrytoll park and ride in Fife and ending up at Edinburgh Park train and tram interchange. However, it’s not all as scary as it seems: a safety driver will be present to oversee the operation, as well as a bus captain who will assist passengers with boarding and purchasing tickets.
What is more, the driverless buses will have special sensors that will allow them to travel up to 50 mph on pre-approved roads. The new scheme is expected to take around 10,000 travellers a week.
Scottish transport minister 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 will really help Scotland establish its credentials on the world stage.”
While it’s exciting to see technology advancing (and not taking over humanity), there are rising concerns of the initiative being less cost efficient with needing two crew members instead of the usual one, especially with the recent price hikes.