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A self-driving shuttle launched in Las Vegas - it didn't go well

12 November 2017

Las Vegas' first driverless shuttle hit the streets on Wednesday and was promptly hit by a truck. 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.

Had the driver of the delivery truck done the same, all would have been well.

The shuttle was performing a test ride with passengers downtown when it was grazed by a delivery truck around noon, the city said. But, the truck continued backing up until its tires touched the front of the shuttle.

Another AAA rep confirmed to Mashable that the shuttle wasn't damaged either, calling the accident a minor fender bender and emphasizing that the system responded exactly how it should have to prevent the incident.

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The city added it will continue operating the buses through Las Vegas' downtown area over the next year. Within an hour, the shuttle was already involved in a crash.

As is seemingly the case with most accidents involving driverless cars, human error was to blame.

It's touted by Las Vegas as the country's first autonomous shuttle that's able to communicate with traffic signals and surrounding "smart" infrastructure. In return, the company will donate $1 per every passenger who rides the shuttle to those affected by the mass shooting in Las Vegas that took place in October.

AAA has partnered with Keolis to sponsor a 12-month trial of the Arma shuttle bus in Las Vegas, which is aimed at transporting 250,000 residents and visitors around a 0.6 mile circuit in downtown Fremont East's "Innovation District".

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A spokesman for the City of Las Vegas told the BBC: "A delivery truck was coming out of an alley".

The shuttle collided with a semi-truck, and although there were passengers on board, no injuries were reported, according to KSNV.

Nearly all the incidents recorded by Waymo, Google's autonomous vehicle arm, have been down to human drivers hitting the vehicles, and a major crash involving Uber's driverless cars in March was down to the driver of the other auto.

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A self-driving shuttle launched in Las Vegas - it didn't go well