Self-Driving Bus Crashes on Its First Day in Las Vegas

Violet Powell
November 10, 2017

The self-driving shuttle bus was in a minor collision with a semi-truck, according to a statement from the city.

Police gave the truck driver a citation.

Some of the buses in downtown Las Vegas went driverless Wednesday, but not without a hiccup.

The bus, just minding its own business, stopped the moment it saw the truck but was sadly unable to avoid the rather considerable scraping it received.

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The fully autonomous and electric shuttle was the first to operate on a public street in the U.S. Yesterday was the first day of service for the shuttle, operating on a short route in downtown Las Vegas. The group will also survey riders before and after each trip to understand why the majority of Americans remain anxious about self-driving technology, and whether the shuttle experience changes their mind.

The vehicle was using self-driving technology developed by French company Navya, and typically travels at about 15 miles per hour as it carries people along the Las Vegas strip. 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.

The shuttle crashed just before noon not far from the Las Vegas Strip, less than two hours after officials held an unveiling ceremony to promote the vehicle.

The shuttle itself is made by French company Navyo and is the first self-driving shuttle bus to be introduced in the US. Passengers say the bus could have done more to avoid it but police said the truck driver was at fault. It seats eight people and has the ability to immediately brake automatically or manually in case anything crosses its path. The first: autonomous vehicles are not foolproof, nor have they reached their full potential. The shuttle underwent testing in the city earlier this year.

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