The UK’s first autonomous bus service – codenamed Project CAVForth – has completed testing without passengers and is now scheduled to run with passengers starting in two or three months time. The route will cover some 14 miles of scenic Scottish countryside near Edinburgh. Well maybe not that scenic, the bus will operate on a Park and Ride route across the Forth Road Bridge delivering 36 passengers to an Edinburgh bus station.
When fully operational it’s expected that the bus will be able to ferry around 10,000 people a week across the bridge, and all without the use of a driver. The bus is using LIDAR, cameras and radar and will operate to Level 4 specs. This is not the top Level 5 autonomous spec so it will still feature a steering wheel and have a limited route. In another strange twist, the bus will have a driver on-board, it’s just that he won’t actually drive. The word is, these on-board folk will eventually become like ‘bus captains’, wandering around the vehicle calming the fears of the passengers as the bus weaves its way over the bridge to ultimate safety. Sounds delish.