United States safety board to probe self-driving shuttle crash in Las Vegas

11 November, 2017, 18:21 | Author: Leticia Walters
  • Las Vegas’ self driving bus only needed 2 hours to prove human drivers suck

According to Jenny Wong, a passenger on the shuttle at the time of the crash, told local news station KSNV: "The shuttle just stayed still".

A self-driving shuttle, unveiled Wednesday in downtown streets of US city of Las Vegas, and reported by local media as the first this kind of service to public in a big city, was involved in a minor crash hours after it was launched by the officials.

Earlier this year, Navya, an autonomous vehicle company, tested out a free, self-driving bus service in Las Vegas to relative success, but when the service returned yesterday it only lasted about an hour before getting in a traffic accident. Had the truck had the same sensing equipment that the shuttle has the accident would have been avoided. AAA, which is sponsoring the latest pilot program, confirmed on Twitter that the accident was due to "human error" on the part of the truck driver.

The vehicle, which was making its debut on public roads in the USA city, was hit by a truck (with a human driver) within two hours of launching. "The shuttle bus very obediently stopped a reasonable distance from the truck and waited for it to move", said Jeff Zurschmeide.

"That's a critical point", Zurschmeide wrote on digitaltrends.

"We had about 20 feet of empty street behind us (I looked) and most human drivers would have thrown the vehicle into reverse and used some of that space to get away from the truck", Zurschmeide wrote.

There have been other crashes involving self-driving vehicles but this was the first involving a self-driving vehicle operating in public service, O'Neil said. "Or at least leaned on the horn and made our presence harder to miss".

The NTSB investigated a May 2016 crash of a Tesla Model S that killed a driver using the vehicle's semi-autonomous "Autopilot" system. However, the truck continued to back up until its tires touched the front of the shuttle, resulting in the citation for the truck driver for unsafe backing.

The crash happened at low speed, and none of the eight passengers aboard the driver-less vehicle suffered injuries, and neither did the truck driver responsible for the collision. It has aggressively pushed the automobile industry to install safety protections, such as auto-braking and lane-departure systems.

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