Self-driving shuttle hit by truck just hours into Las Vegas debut

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The Navya-built shuttle, which began operating on November 8 in Las Vegas, was involved in a collision with a delivery truck in the shuttle's first hour of service, according to a report by KSNV News 3 Las Vegas. "Unfortunately the human element, the driver of the truck, didn't stop". No one was injured and the truck driver was cited.

Navaya, a French company that operates a driverless shuttle on the campus of the University of MI in Ann Arbor, built the Las Vegas shuttle, Fox News reported.

According to Jace Radke, "the shuttle did its job in that the sensors hit on the truck, knew the truck was coming and stopped as it was supposed to do". The local police said the driver of a truck was at fault for the minor collision because he was backing up illegally, admittedly though, the shuttle could have avoided the accident if only it had reversed.

A big public debut for a self-driving bus in Las Vegas turned out to be trouble.

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The driverless shuttle had just begun setting off on half-mile loops around the Nevada tourist haven, part of a joint project of insurance giant AAA (American Automobile Association), transportation company Kelois and French tech firm Nayva. As an incentive to testing out the shuttle, AAA is donating $1 to the Las Vegas Victims Fund for every rider that gets on the shuttle.

The shuttle is manufactured by NAVYA, comes equipped with LiDAR technology, GPS, cameras, and will seat 8 passengers with seatbelts. "But the operator of the truck proceeded to back up, not judging where the vehicle was at that time", said Maurice Bell, vice-president of mobility solutions for Keolis. The statement also indicated that testing of the shuttle will continue as planned.

Navya has a fleet of 50 autonomous shuttle buses deployed worldwide, and says that it has carried over 200,000 passengers so far.

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