When a company puts a self-driving vehicle on the street, it’s hoping that it won’t be involved in an accident soon after the fact. That’s exactly what happened with a new driverless shuttle in Las Vegas. The shuttle was involved in a minor accident less than an hour after it took to the streets. The accident didn’t cause a lot of damage because the shuttle can’t go beyond half a mile of the Fremont East district.
The 8-seater Navya shuttle is operated by the AA and Keolis. It’s a test deployment on this route so it’s not like the shuttle has a license to tear up the streets of Las Vegas.
While some might be inclined to believe that the shuttle may have been at fault, the fact is that it wasn’t entirely at fault. A semi that was backing up didn’t watch out for the shuttle and grazed its fender. None of the passengers inside the shuttle were hurt.
One passenger was frustrated with how the shuttle was unable to detect that a truck was going to back into it so it should move out of the way. “The shuttle just stayed still and we were like, ‘oh my gosh, it’s gonna hit us, it’s gonna hit us!’ and then.. it hit us!,” the passenger said.
A representative for the City of Las Vegas has said that the shuttle did exactly what it was supposed to do. “Its sensors registered the truck and the shuttle stopped to avoid the accident,” adding that “Had the truck had the same sensing equipment that the shuttle has the accident would have been avoided.”