A self-driving shuttle service was launched in Las Vegas and it inaugurated the launch by getting into an accident within the very first hour. The shuttle was made by a French startup Navya and is owned and operated by a French private transportation company Keolis. The shuttle currently only operate on a 0.6-mile loop around downtown Las Vegas offering free rides to the residents.
The shuttle was pilot tested for two weeks back in January and was just officially launched. Just after an hour of its launch, it got into a collision with a human-driven truck that was pulling out into the street from a loading bay. A spokesperson for AAA, which is working with Las Vegas and Keolis to sponsor the program and survey driver attitudes toward autonomous vehicles issued a statement on Twitter that the truck driver was at fault.
Only the front bumper of the shuttle was damaged and neither the 8 passengers in the shuttle or the truck driver was injured. The incident was described on the official Tumblr page by a Las Vegas city government representative.
“The autonomous shuttle was testing today when it was grazed by a delivery truck downtown. The shuttle did what it was supposed to do, in that it’s sensors registered the truck and the shuttle stopped to avoid the accident. Unfortunately, the delivery truck did not stop and grazed the front fender of the shuttle. Had the truck had the same sensing equipment that the shuttle has the accident would have been avoided. Testing of the shuttle will continue during the 12-month pilot in the downtown Innovation District. The shuttle will remain out of service for the rest of the day. The driver of the truck was cited by Metro.”
It is a positive thing to know that testing will resume even after the setback on the very first day. Keolis’s service is the first self-driving shuttle in the country and will play a huge role in documenting the general attitude of the public towards driverless public transport.
You can see the video here: