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

A self-driving shuttle launched in Las Vegas — it didn’t go well
Driverless car involved in accident less than 2 hours after launching. (Photo credit should read JACQUES DEMARTHON/AFP/Getty Images)

What happened?

A self-driving shuttle that launched on the Las Vegas strip Wednesday was involved in an accident less than two hours after its unveiling ceremony downtown.

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

Was the driverless shuttle at fault in the accident?

Las Vegas city officials released a statement indicating the driver of the truck was at-fault and cited for the accident.

“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,” the statement read. “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.”

Why did they launch the self-driving shuttle?

AAA, the company sponsoring the shuttle, said that 90 percent of deadly accidents occurring on the nation’s roads are the result of human error. They aim to make roads safer with driverless options.

The shuttle makes a continuous loop in downtown Las Vegas, and the rides are free. As an added incentive, AAA will donate $1 to the Las Vegas Victims Fund for every rider that boards the shuttle, assisting in providing relief and financial support for the victims of the mass shooting in October. They have already guaranteed a $100,000 donation.