Driverless shuttle involved in crash 2 hours after launch

Aaron Brown
November 10, 2017

"The autonomous shuttle was testing today when it was grazed by a delivery truck downtown", said a representative with the City of Las Vegas. Its vice-president of mobility solutions, Maurice Bell, said the bus will scoot through Las Vegas at no more than 15 miles per hour.

It does seem however that this technology is not quite ready yet though, after a self-driving bus crashed just two hours after launching.

"The truck kept going and it kept turning, and you can see the angle that it's at, it couldn't see us", passenger Jenny Wong said.

"The shuttle didn't have the ability to move back".

Police say no injuries were reported in the Wednesday crash between the self-operating vehicle and a semi-truck. He was cited for illegal backing.

City spokesman Jace Radke said the shuttle stopped when it sensed the truck was approaching, but the truck didn't stop.

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Thankfully no one was injured in the incident and while it may appear a little embarrassing for the shuttle, which is part of a joint project of insurance giant AAA (American Automobile Association), transportation company Kelois and French tech firm Nayva, the blame is being placed exclusively on the delivery driver.

If the shuttle were capable of reversing away from the oncoming vehicle, it might have avoided the collision, but according to a statement released by city officials, the autonomous vehicle did exactly what it was supposed to do by stopping once its sensors registered the truck.

The minor crash caused a delay but the bus returned shortly after to pick up more passengers waiting in line.

According to the BBC, the bus - the first of its kind to carry passengers in the United States - was travelling at a low speed in Las Vegas when it collided with a lorry. An attendant rides along to oversee operation on a monitor. The autonomous bus has a top speed of 15 miles per hour.

While the accident put the shuttle out of action for the rest of the day, it isn't the end of the trial, which will continue for a full year as planned. The bus traveled only a short distance and was only available for a few days but it was open to anyone who wanted to get a preview of the future.

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