Vegas Self-Driving Shuttle Crashes

Vegas Self-Driving Shuttle Crashes

Vegas Self-Driving Shuttle Crashes

The incident occurred on the first day of the driverless shuttle bus's service.

During its first hour of service in downtown, the shuttle was involved in a collision with a delivery truck, KSNV reported.

Less than two hours earlier, city officials unveiled the shuttle, making Las Vegas the first city in the United States to have a self-driving shuttle operating in real-time traffic, Fox News reported. The experimental shuttle bus had predicted that an accident was about to happen, and according to it algorithmic protocols, stopped. The driver was trying to back his trailer into an alleyway on the left.

Las Vegas police issued the truck driver a ticket, the city government said in a blog post. However, the truck continued to back up until its tires touched the front of the shuttle, resulting in the citation for the truck driver for unsafe backing.

However, the accident could have potentially be avoided if shuttle would have used its horn to alert the truck driver (as would be expected of a human driver) or simple reverse a few feed (the street was clear behind the vehicle at the time). "As the driver was swinging the trailer into the alley, the tractor portion of the truck was coming right at us - very slowly". The key line in this is "if the delivery truck had the same sensing equipment. the accident would have been avoided". These are areas were autonomous vehicles could be upgraded.

"We had about 20 feet of empty street behind us (I looked) and most human drivers would have thrown the vehicle into reverse and used some of that space to get away from the truck". AAA, which is sponsoring the latest pilot program, confirmed on Twitter that the accident was due to "human error" on the part of the truck driver.

The number of such incidents has been on the rise ever since public testing of autonomous vehicle technology has been allowed in certain US states like California.

"Automated shuttles have the ability to reduce operational expenditures by lowering per mile costs, reducing labor expenditures, and offering a variety of flexible and on-demand public transportation services when paired with advanced algorithms and smartphone apps", Susan Shaheen, a civil engineer who studies mobility innovation at UC Berkeley, told Wired.

The Las Vegas self-driving shuttle is a 12-month pilot project by AAA and Keolis, a transportation management company.

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