Autonomous shuttle test in Las Vegas has crash on first day

A driverless bus was involved in a crash in downtown on Nov. 8 2017

A driverless bus was involved in a crash in downtown on Nov. 8 2017

That made the crash it was involved in on its first day of operation particularly newsworthy, but some are too quick to blame the self-driving machine for what has turned out to be a human error. In the immortal words of Homer Simpson, D'oh.

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.

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While the accident wasn't caused by the autonomous bus, this handily highlights the potential downside of an autonomous vehicle. "Unfortunately, the delivery truck did not stop and grazed the front fender of the shuttle". Sponsored by AAA, the shuttle is intended less for its actual utility and more to get people used to the idea of driverless cars. The driver of the truck was cited by Metro. All you need to do is honk your horn and back up a few feet to avoid a wreck in many circumstances. Had the truck had the same sensing equipment that the shuttle has the accident would have been avoided.

"The shuttle just stayed still and we were like, Oh my gosh, it's going to hit us, it's going to hit us", passenger Jenny Wong told local NBC affiliate KSNV. And the shuttle didn't have the ability to move back, either.

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Officials had hosted an unveiling ceremony just hours earlier to promote the oval-shaped shuttle.

Navya's autonomous electric vehicle shuttle doesn't hit overly high speeds, shuffling along a downtown circuit at around 24km/h.

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The shuttle was performing a test ride with passengers downtown when it was grazed by a delivery truck around noon, the city said. Self-driving vehicles aim to curb these human-related errors by automating the entire process, putting machines in control of what is now performed by humans.

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