Self-Driving Shuttle in Vegas Lasts Less than Two Hours Before Getting Hit

It took less than two hours on Las Vegas streets before the city’s new self-driving shuttle was hit by another vehicle.

The shuttle was hit by a delivery truck that was being driven by a person and was not at fault for the accident. Las Vegas police officer Aden Ocampo-Gomez said the accident was caused by the driver and was cited for illegal backing.

Dubbed America’s first self-driving shuttle pilot project, the bus made its rounds around the Innovation District in downtown Las Vegas in front of cameras, news crews, celebrities, and residents who were excited to see the shuttle.

The shuttle was stopped when the accident occurred, Jenny Wong, a passenger at the time of the crash, told local news station KSNV:

“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. The shuttle didn’t have the ability to move back. The shuttle just stayed still,” Wong said.

In a statement, the city claimed that the shuttle did what it was programmed to do. “The shuttle did what it was supposed to do, in that its 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.”

The shuttle can seat up to eight people and comes with an attendant and a computer monitor. There are no brake pedals and no steering wheel, and can not exceed a speed of 15mph. It is set to run a constant loop in downtown Las Vegas.

As of now, the rides are free.

AAA says that human error was responsible for more than 90% of the 30,000 deaths on the nation’s roads in last year and that robotic cars could possibly lower those numbers.

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