Self-driving shuttle involved in crash on first day in Vegas

Posted at 9:04 PM, Jan 10, 2017

A driverless shuttle was involved in a minor crash with a truck on the first day of operation in Downtown Las Vegas on Tuesday.



Keolis, the company that helped build the shuttle, says that the crash was in a minor accident and that damage to both vehicles was cosmetic. The driver of the other vehicle was cited for the crash.

The driverless shuttle is still fully operational.

The City of Las Vegas released a statement regarding the crash:

The autonomous shuttle was testing today when it was grazed by a delivery truck downtown. The shuttle did what it was supposed to do, in that it’s sensors registered the truck and the shuttle stopped to avoid the accident.

Unfortunately, the delivery truck did not stop and grazed the front fender of the shuttle. Had the truck had the same sensing equipment that the shuttle has the accident would have been avoided. Testing of the shuttle will continue during the 12-month pilot in the downtown Innovation District.

The shuttle will give free test rides to the public for the next week. It can hold 12 people and runs on electricity.

Developers addressed safety concerns by explaining the series of cameras and radars that "see" everything going on around the vehicle. It stops short if anything crosses its path.

Even with the sensory technology, the shuttles aren't ready to drive on city streets. They can't read stoplights, for instance.

But Goodman has a vision for how these shuttles could one day change the way we get around our city.

"You can space the vehicles far enough apart and get them on a route that would come every 10 minutes, 20 minutes, whatever because you've got total control through the autonomous technology," Goodman said. "We have a preliminary map in mind to move people in and around the heart of the city as a test run."

Goodman says leasing a shuttle would cost the city about $10,000 a month. The mayor hopes Las Vegas eventually buys its own vehicles and moves the manufacturing here.