Driverless shuttle involved in crash on first day of service in downtown Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) —
Las Vegas is the first city in America to have a self-driving shuttle operating in real-time traffic.
However, in its first hour of service in downtown Las Vegas, the shuttle was involved in a collision with a delivery truck. There has been no report of injuries at this time.
The driver of the truck was cited by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
The project has many people intrigued, wanting to see how the shuttle would work.
The shuttle is set to run in a continuous loop downtown.
Those checking out the shuttle system won't see anything else like it across the entire country.
The goal is to get at least a quarter-million people -- locals and visitors, alike -- onboard, trying out the driverless technology, first hand.
As of now, the rides are free.
The shuttle can be boarded at any of the three stops located on Fremont and Carson Streets between Las Vegas Boulevard and 8th Street.
The shuttle seats eight with seatbelts and has the ability to immediately brake automatically or manually in case anything crosses its path -- something that was clearly tested in today's incident.
AAA is sponsoring the shuttle and says more than 30,000 people died on roads throughout the U.S. last year with around 90-percent of those crashes caused by human error. The goal is to keep things safer with a driverless world.
"It's usually really more of a fear, I think, of leaving the known than it is about the future of the unknown," said NASCAR driver Danica Patrick. "So sometimes you just have to let things go and when it's in the best interest of safety, I think it's a smart thing."
In Vegas Strong fashion, AAA will donate $1 to the Las Vegas Victims Fund for every rider that gets on the shuttle, giving back to those directly impacted by '1 October.' They're starting with a guaranteed $100,000 check.
A representative on behalf of AAA has stated on Twitter that the crash was caused by the truck backing into the shuttle at the time and was a result of human error, with the driver of the truck cited.
A representative with the City of Las Vegas issued the following statement:
"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 is still scheduled to roll downtown in Las Vegas for the next year.