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Scotland to trial autonomous buses in 2019

Scotland's first self-driving bus will be tested between Fife and Edinburgh in 2019. The trial includes five autonomous single decker buses, seeing them travel across the Forth Road Bridge.

The project has been granted funding of £4.35m by the UK government, with aims to be fully operational in 2021.

Additional funding has been provided by operators Stagecoach, Transport Scotland, bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis, Fusion Processing Ltd, and ESP Group.

The trial will still see a driver onboard in case of emergency and to comply with UK legislation.

The bus will initially only be fully unmanned within its depot, carrying out movements including parking and moving to the fuelling station and bus wash.

The autonomous buses will provide a service able of carrying up to 42 passengers the 14 mile journey across the Forth Bridge to Edinburgh Park train and tram interchange.

Scotland's Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said: "This collaborative trial, using one of the country's most iconic transport corridors, shows Scotland is very much open for business in this innovative sector."

UK Business Secretary Greg Clark said autonomous vehicles would "revolutionise the way we travel."

He said: "The UK is building on its automotive heritage and strengths to develop the new vehicles and technologies and from 2021 the public will get to experience the future for themselves."

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