Written by Kumudu Jayawardana
09 Nov, 2017 | 10:54 am
A self-driving shuttle bus in Las Vegas was involved in a crash on its first day of service.
The vehicle – carrying “several” passengers – collided with a lorry driving at slow speed.
Nobody was injured in the incident which city officials say was the fault of the human driver of the lorry. The man was subsequently given a ticket by police.
The shuttle is the first of its kind to be used on public roads in the US.
The collision comes a day after Waymo – owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet – announced it is launching a fully self-driving fleet of taxis in Phoenix, Arizona.
The Las Vegas shuttle, designed to ferry passengers to the famous strip, uses a system developed by Navya, a French company also testing its technology in London.
The shuttle carries up to 15 people and has a maximum speed of 45km/h, but typically travels at around 25km/h.
A spokesman for the City of Las Vegas told the BBC the crash was a “fender bender” – a minor collision – and that the shuttle would likely be back out on the road on Thursday after some routine diagnostics tests.
“A delivery truck was coming out of an alley,” public information officer Jace Radke said.
“The shuttle did what it was supposed to do and stopped. Unfortunately the human element, the driver of the truck, didn’t stop.”
Self-driving technology has been involved in crashes before, but almost all reported incidents have been due to human error.
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