Futuristic Self-Driving Bus Crashes in Las Vegas During Inauguration

The truck, however continued to back up until its tires touched the front of the shuttle.

A driverless shuttle bus had an inauspicious start when it went in to service in Las Vegas yesterday and promptly was involved in a collision with another vehicle, the BBC reports. The driver of the truck was cited for "unsafe backing". The statement finished by saying that had the truck used the same sensing equipment as the bus, the accident would have been avoided.

Officials had hosted an unveiling ceremony to promote what they described as the United States' first self-driving shuttle pilot project geared toward the public, as dozens of people lined up in downtown Las Vegas to get a free ride.

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During the incident in downtown Las Vegas, the bus automatically stopped to try avoid an accident after its sensors detected the truck, the city said. The shuttle will remain out of service for the rest of the day.

The vehicle was using self-driving technology developed by French company Navya, and typically travels at about 15 miles per hour as it carries people along the Las Vegas strip.

The shuttle is sponsored by AAA Northern California, Nevada and Utah, and in a year-long pilot project is expected to ferry 250,000 people at a top speed of 15 miles per hour.

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The shuttle itself is made by French company Navyo and is the first self-driving shuttle bus to be introduced in the US. Safety features include the ability to automatically and immediately brake in the event of a pedestrian crossing in the path of the vehicle.

The shuttle is the first of its kind in the USA, and Navya, the French tech firm behind the bus, is also performing test programmes in London and Paris. If the United States can successfully facilitate a safe transition to autonomous vehicles, "the benefits are quite compelling", Moreno says.

The shuttle was built by a company called Navya.

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