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Edinburgh Live
Edinburgh Live
Abbie Meehan

How will Edinburgh's driverless buses will work and when do they launch?

A brand new self-driving mode of transport is coming to Edinburgh, and it is the first of its kind worldwide.

The Government has boosted more than £10 million into the driverless bus project that will allow transport for more than 10,000 passengers a week across the Forth Road bridge from Edinburgh Park to Ferrytoll Park and Ride in Fife. Edinburgh will be the first to receive this technology, as early as this spring, with Sunderland, Coventry and Belfast following in the capital's footsteps.

But, how will these self-driving buses work, and when are they estimated to launch? Edinburgh Live answers all your questions.

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How will the self-driving buses work?

According to Sky News, the buses will be full of sensors that enable them to run on pre-selected roads without the safety driver having to intervene or take control.

The bus drives with guidance by cameras, laser radars, and a master controller, along with a human driver behind the wheel ready to take over in case any problems arise.

When passengers start to board, the buses will provide a service capable of carrying up to 36 people at least 14 miles across the bridge, with a further capacity of 10,000 passengers a week.

Stagecoach has been carrying out on-road testing from April 2022 in order to prepare for the launch of these fully-automated vehicles.

When will the buses get out onto the roads in Edinburgh?

Passengers will be boarding the world’s first fully sized, self-driving bus service in Edinburgh from the spring, after it was awarded a share of £81 million in joint UK government and industry support for self-driving transport technology.

So we could be just weeks away from the driverless buses hitting the roads of the capital.

The project is one of seven successful projects from around the UK, and forms the most advanced set of commercial, self-driving passenger and freight operations anywhere in the world.


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