Claire Perry, the Transport Minister, said that operating buses without drivers could help companies provide “better and more frequent” services, particularly in rural areas.
She also revealed that work is already under way to identify any problematic “regulatory issues” which could prevent the vehicles being rolled out on roads across Britain.
Speaking at the Driverless Vehicles Conference at Thatcham on Wednesday, Mrs Perry said she could “see a future where driverless buses provide better and more frequent services”.
“A major component of rural transport is the cost of the driver – and so a truly driverless bus could transform rural public transport in the future,” she said.
Driverless cars offer safety and commuting convenience but this is a twist: mass transit could be more frequent and cheaper without drivers. It would be interesting to know how much cheaper this could be. Would this mean a 20% increase in bus service for the same price or is it something even more drastic? If so, perhaps this could make buses a lot more attractive, particularly in rural or suburban areas where riders may not necessarily want to ride with a lot of other people and want service that doesn’t inconvenience them much.