DRIVERLESS buses are set to take passengers across the Forth Road Bridge as part of a year-long project.

The fleet of vehicles, with no-one at the wheel, will travel along a 14-mile route between Fife and Edinburgh using the public transport corridor.

Michael Matheson, transport minister, said: “The deployment of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) in Scotland will bring transformative change to the way we travel and work, as well as having a positive impact on the economy, the environment and safety.

“Scotland is very much open for business when it comes to trialling these vehicles, with our trunk road network providing a wide range of environments as a diverse testing ground.”

Project CAVForth will provide Scotland with a “globally significant” demonstration of self-driving buses at the CAV Scotland 2019 event in Glasgow later this year.

Live demonstrations will be delivered and world experts will be in attendance at the SEC Glasgow in November.

The Press reported in August last year that Stagecoach were hoping to trial the driverless vehicles at the end of 2018.

The on-board system uses several sensors – including radar, laser, camera and ultrasound – along with satellite navigation to detect and avoid objects and plan routes.

They are part of the project which has funding from Innovate UK and is being led by Fusion Processing Ltd.

Mr Matheson added: “This conference will bring together CAV sector leaders, suppliers of autonomous vehicles, regulators, innovators, business leaders and academics to debate Scotland’s role in developing and deploying this new technology and I look forward to hearing about the exciting developments over the past 12 months.”

Adrian Tatum, director of Transport Network, said: “There are still many unanswered questions around CAV development: preparing our roads for autonomous vehicles; insurance and legal issues; and public confidence. The CAV Scotland event is the perfect opportunity to address some of those questions and demonstrate why Scotland is the ideal place to continue the debate and to host further necessary trials and research.”

A driverless roadmap for Scotland, considering the next steps towards trialling and implementation of vehicles on the network, will be discussed at the conference.

The legal, insurance, safety and the testing of the vehicles will also be debated.