The real lesson of that self-driving shuttle’s first-day accident

Enlarge / Officials announcing the driverless shuttle program in Las Vegas January. (credit: Navya)

Wednesday was supposed to be the triumphant launch of a free, driverless shuttle in downtown Las Vegas. Designed by French company Navya, operated by another French company called Keolis, and sponsored by the city and American Automobile Association, the year-long pilot project was supposed to demonstrate the potential of slow-moving autonomous vehicles to change the transit industry.

Instead, within hours, the project was greeted with the worst possible headline: “Self-driving shuttle bus in crash on first day.”

The headline, and lots of others like it, were technically accurate but a little misleading. Officials say the other vehicle—a semi truck that bumped into the shuttle while backing up—was at fault. And it was such a low-speed collision that no one was injured. The accident “merely dented the plastic panels on the front of the shuttle,” according to Jeff Zurschmeide of Digital Trends.

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Source: Ars Technica

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