Truck Backs Into Las Vegas Self-Driving Shuttle on Day 1

The day Las Vegas began operating its self-driving shuttle, a delivery truck backed into it.
Image: Tumblr

The day Las Vegas begins operating its hop on/hop off self-driving shuttle, a truck backs into it.

The city of Las Vegas posted the following announcement about an accident involving a self-driving shuttle being pilot tested to its official blog Building Community to Make Life Better blog, which is on Tumblr:

Minor Incident Downtown Wednesday Afternoon

The autonomous shuttle was testing today when it was grazed by a delivery truck downtown. The shuttle did what it was supposed to do, in that it’s sensors registered the truck and the shuttle stopped to avoid the 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. Testing of the shuttle will continue during the 12-month pilot in the downtown Innovation District. The shuttle will remain out of service for the rest of the day. The driver of the truck was cited by Metro.

The Self-Driving Shuttle

AAA, in partnership with Keolis, just brought the future of transportation to America, and now the century-old auto club wants to hear from you.

AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah (AAA) is sponsoring the nation’s first self-driving shuttle pilot project geared specifically for the public. Over the course of a year, the self-driving shuttle aims at providing a quarter-million residents and visitors of Las Vegas with first-hand experience using autonomous vehicle (AV) technology, exposing most riders to the technology for the first time. This pilot builds on Keolis’ limited shuttle launch in downtown Las Vegas in early 2017; today’s launch will be the first self-driving vehicle to be fully integrated with a city’s traffic infrastructure.

In addition to studying how the shuttle interacts in a live traffic environment in downtown Las Vegas’ busy Innovation District, AAA will survey riders on their experience in order to understand why a large percentage of consumers remain wary of driverless technology, and whether a personal experience changes their perception. AAA partnered with the city of Las Vegas, the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) and Keolis North America (Keolis), which will operate and maintain the NAVYA Arma fully electric shuttle.

The shuttle is manufactured by NAVYA, comes equipped with LiDAR technology, GPS, cameras, and will seat 8 passengers with seatbelts. Safety features include the ability to automatically and immediately brake in the event of a pedestrian crossing in the path of the vehicle. In addition to surveying the shuttle’s riders, AAA will examine how others sharing the streets react to it – including pedestrians and cyclists.  AAA chose Las Vegas for the launch because of the state’s progressive regulations on autonomous vehicles, heavy investment in innovation, the high volume of visitors and a sunny, dry climate that’s favorable for testing new driving technology.

How the Self-Driving Shuttle Pilot Program Works

Covering a 0.6-mile loop in the Fremont East “Innovation District” of downtown Las Vegas, the all-electric, self-driving shuttle offers free rides for people to experience autonomous transportation in a real-world environment. The shuttle is the country’s first autonomous shuttle to be fully integrated with “smart-city” infrastructure, communicating with traffic signals to improve safety and traffic flow. The shuttle is operated and maintained by Keolis, which also led the efforts to integrate its vehicle into the smart-city infrastructure, in partnership with the city of Las Vegas and NAVYA.

The shuttle can be boarded at any of the autonomous-vehicle shuttle’s three stops located on Fremont Street and Carson Street between Las Vegas Boulevard and 8th Street.

Read our previous coverage of a self-driving shuttle pilot in London:

London’s Driverless Shuttle ‘Harry’ Begins Taking Riders

Learn about an upcoming Phoenix pilot of self driving cars:

First U.S. Public Trial of Self Driving Cars Planned for Phoenix

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