A driverless bus got into a crash on its first day
Nov 10 2017
Its vice-president of mobility solutions, Maurice Bell, said the bus will scoot through Las Vegas at no more than 15 miles per hour.
The city's officials had been hosting an unveiling ceremony for the bus, described as the US' first self-driving shuttle pilot project geared towards the public, before it crashed with a semi-truck.
The driverless shuttle bus was traveling on half-mile loops around the Nevada tourist retreat when a delivery truck came from an alley and snapped its front bumper, city spokesman Jace Radke was quoted by Independent as saying.
"We were all like, 'h my gosh, he's going to hit us, he's going to hit us, ' and then, BAM", said Jenny Wong, passenger on shuttle!
As the Las Vegas shuttle accident illustrates, however, one of the biggest challenges may be getting human drivers used to autonomous vehicles.
"The shuttle did what it was supposed to do, in that its sensors registered the truck and the shuttle stopped to avoid the accident", a comment on the city's blog said.
Before you think this proves that self-driving cars have no place in this world, the shuttle wasn't at fault for the accident. While this driver was cited for illegal backing, he or she may not have known the vehicle behind the truck was autonomous - and, in turn, may have expected the shuttle to react to the truck's movements.
The minor crash caused a delay but the bus returned shortly after to pick up more passengers waiting in line.
The oval-shaped shuttle that can transport up to 12 people has an attendant and computer monitor, but no steering wheel and no brake pedals.
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 transportation company Keolis is operating the shuttle.
The shuttle is sponsored by AAA Northern California, Nevada and Utah, and in a year-long pilot project is expected to ferry 250,000 people at a top speed of 15 miles per hour.