Thursday, 23 November, 2017

Self-driving bus involved in accident on its first day

America's oldest auto association wants consumers to overcome their fear of driverless cars Don't blame the robot: Las Vegas self-driving shuttle bus in smash on first day of service
Dexter Carr | 10 November, 2017, 00:25

"We believe our Las Vegas pilot will allow the public to experience this exciting technology for themselves and allow their voices to be heard as AAA studies how autonomous transportation can be safely deployed for public use".

A self-driving shuttle bus was involved in an accident on its first day in service in Las Vegas.

Jenny Wong, a passenger on the shuttle at the time of the crash, told local news station KSNV: "The shuttle just stayed still". This pilot builds on Keolis' limited shuttle launch in downtown Las Vegas in early 2017; today's launch will be the first self-driving vehicle to be fully integrated with a city's traffic infrastructure.

"We were all like, 'Oh my gosh, he's going to hit us, he's going to hit us, ' and then, BAM!" she said.

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Police say no injuries were reported in the crash that is still under investigation. The truck was reversing into a loading dock, but the driver of the truck couldn't see the shuttle.

Over the next year, AAA aims to give some 250,000 people free rides on the self-driving shuttle, which will run a 0.6-mile loop with three stops (and a safety driver onboard just in case).

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 oval-shaped shuttle that can transport up to 12 people has an attendant and computer monitor, but no steering wheel and no brake pedals. Navya already has shuttles operating in Paris, and two days ago announced another vehicle, Autonom Cab, that carries up to six people in driverless serenity at up to 56 miles per hour. But before you jump to the obvious conclusion, Las Vegas police have charged the (human) driver of the truck! The shuttle is operated and maintained by Keolis, which also led the efforts to integrate its vehicle into the smart-city infrastructure, in partnership with the city of Las Vegas and NAVYA.

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