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Monday, February 26, 2024

Self-driving Shuttle Bus Collision — Human Error



Federal transportation safety officials were in Las Vegas on Friday to investigate a collision between a self-driving shuttle bus on its first day of service and a truck. The truck was ruled at fault and the accident is blamed on human error.

The crash was the first involving a self-driving vehicle operating in public service, O‘Neil said.

The bus, Navya Arma, an autonomous and electric vehicle operated by Keolis North America, was only in service for a few hours later when a delivery truck backed into the stopped shuttle, according to a reporter on the shuttle and one of its sponsor companies.

Las Vegas police issued the truck driver a ticket. The shuttle’s front end sustained minor damage and resumed service on Thursday.

“The shuttle did what it was supposed to do, in that its sensors registered the truck and the shuttle stopped,” the city said.

The shuttle is sponsored by the city of Las Vegas, American Automobile Association, Keolis North America and the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada.

Reporter Jeff Zurschmeide was on the shuttle at the time of the crash and said the self-driving vehicle did what it was programmed to do but not necessarily what a human driver might do.

“That’s a critical point,” Zurschmeide wrote on digitaltrends.com. “We had about 20 feet of empty street behind us (I looked), and most human drivers would have thrown the car into reverse and used some of that space to get away from the truck. Or at least leaned on the horn and made our presence harder to miss.”