11 months ago
Disaster struck only two hours into the launch of Las Vegas’s brand new self-driving bus. The autonomous bus crashed with a lorry, but not because of the self-driving mechanism; instead, it was a human’s fault.
According to The Guardian, the bus made its debut on public roads in Vegas in front of a crowd and cameras. It has been dubbed America’s first self-driving shuttle pilot project geared toward the public. The shuttle can seat up to eight people and has an attendant and a computer monitor, but no steering wheel or brake pedals. It uses GPS, electronic curb sensors and other technology and cannot go over 15 mph, and was created by French company Navya.
Jenny Wong, a passenger on the shuttle at the time of the crash, said that the shuttle could not move back as the truck came at it, so it just stayed still.
“The shuttle just stayed still. And we were like, it’s going to hit us, it’s going to hit us. And then it hit us,” she told local news station KSNV, reports The Guardian.
Las Vegas police officer Aden Ocampo-Gomez said that truck driver was at fault for the accident. He was cited for illegal backing.
The city said in a statement that the shuttle did what it was supposed to do because the sensors registered the truck and the shuttle stopped to avoid an 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,” the statement continued, according to The Guardian.
The self-driving bus was able to take two more trips after the crash. The year-long project is sponsored by AAA Northern California, Nevada and Utah, and is expected to carry 250,000 people.