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City of Las Vegas
12 November 2017, 02:12 | Gordon Grant
City of Las Vegas
A representative for the city of Las Vegas said the shuttle was grazed by a delivery truck. The exact circumstances of the accident are unknown; we have no idea if the autonomous shuttle was simply unable to back up to avoid the accident or if there was another vehicle too close to the shuttle bus to allow it to reverse out of harm's way.
The Navya Arma shuttle that was running in Vegas is equipped with specialized LiDAR sensors to map out the road around it, cameras to pick up obstacles in its path, and GPS so its operators can track it in real time, but none of those systems can control other drivers on the road. Police determined that the shuttle stopped when it sensed a truck was trying to back up.
It's touted by Las Vegas as the country's first autonomous shuttle that's able to communicate with traffic signals and surrounding "smart" infrastructure. The shuttle, made by French startup Navya and owned and operated by French private transportation company Keolis, operates on a 0.6-mile loop around downtown Las Vegas offering free rides to residents.
It does seem however that this technology is not quite ready yet though, after a self-driving bus crashed just two hours after launching.
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Why did they launch the self-driving shuttle?
While the shuttle remained out of service for the rest of the day, the tests are set to continue for the duration of the 12-month pilot in the downtown Innovation District, officials say. "Human error causes most traffic collisions and this was no different", he said "Driver of truck was cited".
A spokesperson for AAA, which is working with Las Vegas and Keolis to sponsor the program and survey driver attitudes toward autonomous vehicles, confirmed on Twitter that the accident was actually the truck driver's fault.
Its 50 shuttles have already transported nearly 200,000 passengers since it first started across a range of public and private sites.
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