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Driverless Shuttle Crashes During Public Debut in Las Vegas

Fender-bender blamed on the other, human driver.

by on Nov.10, 2017

Initially, the shuttles, built by Navya, were used autonomously, but they began operating without drivers this week. (Photo credit: Jeff Zurschmeide)

It’s not a good thing to get involved in a crash during your first day on the job. But that’s what happened this week when a fully driverless shuttle bus was making its debut run – complete with dignitaries and journalists onboard – in Las Vegas.

The shuttle was following a predetermined route through the city when it came up on a food delivery truck trying to squeeze down a narrow ally to make a delivery. The autonomous shuttle bus stopped and waited but the trailer eventually backed out, trying to reposition itself, and rammed the bus.

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Las Vegas police were called to the scene and determined the truck driver was at fault. And a spokesman for transportation firm Keolis, which is running the trial program, claimed the shuttle couldn’t move out of the way “because there was traffic behind it.” The system, the spokesman said, “operated as it was supposed to.” (more…)