Automotive

Navya Arma involved in fender bender at Las Vegas debut

Navya Arma involved in fender ...
The Navya Arma self-driving electric shuttle bus can trundle along at up to 15 mph and carry up to eight passengers
The Navya Arma self-driving electric shuttle bus can trundle along at up to 15 mph and carry up to eight passengers
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The Navya Arma self-driving electric shuttle bus can trundle along at up to 15 mph and carry up to eight passengers
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The Navya Arma self-driving electric shuttle bus can trundle along at up to 15 mph and carry up to eight passengers

Last year, we looked into the crystal ball and saw autonomous vehicles like the Navya Arma leading the way to a rather dull near-future where next generation travelers may not even bother learning how to drive. Shuttles have since been rolling from pilot to limited service, pretty much without a hitch. Until now. Officials have revealed that Navya's people carrier was involved in a minor collision with a human-driven truck on the day of its Las Vegas debut.

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." However, about an hour into its first day on the job, the little blue bus sensed trouble and slowed to a stop.

Had the driver of the delivery truck done the same, all would have been well. But the human driver pushed on through, scraping the front fender of the Arma shuttle. No-one was hurt in the incident, and AAA's PR rep Mike Blasky took to Twitter to confirm that the accident was caused by human error. "Human error causes most traffic collisions and this was no different," he said "Driver of truck was cited. No one hurt except a bruised bumper!" The all-electric shuttle was pulled out of service a little later.

It's a bumpy start for a pilot project looking into live traffic interactions while also surveying passenger experiences, and will likely serve to add fuel to those critical of the inevitable autonomous future. The first of its kind US pilot project continues.

Source: City of Las Vegas

3 comments
Daniel Harbin
Welcome to Vegas traffic, I drive about 1K a week in Vegas. The drivers in Vegas are pushy, drunk and sometimes reckless. You have to be alert and drive defensively if you want your vehicle to remain in good shape.
Then you have peds who don't look or don't care, going against the lights and sometimes walking in the streets because the sidewalk closed. I foresee a ped being injured by this contraption due to the chaos and uncertainty involved in Vegas traffic.
The reason this accident occurred is the vehicle should have stopped and backed up if needed to avoid the truck driver. Like I said driving defensily.
ljaques
That it was pulled out of service that same day says much for politics and the idiocy of bureaucracy, and not in a good way.
Daniel, the shuttle _did_ avoid the pickup. It's that the delivery truck didn't avoid the shuttle which caused the accident, and the delivery truck driver was cited. Yes, perhaps a foot of backing up might have kept the idiot from hitting the shuttle, but every bit of movement has its own risks. I guess they'll have to figure out how much to nudge the shuttle's programming, if any.
christopher
"AI" is a programming technique for avoiding having to work out how to solve a problem, and getting something completely idiotic to try and understand every situation it will ever encounter, and approximate how to try to behave in it.
It should never be allowed to drive, fly, or otherwise threaten human safety.
Here's a general example why: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-41845878
And a car one: https://futurism.com/we-may-have-just-uncovered-a-serious-problem-with-how-ai-see/
Who gets the citation for dangerously stopping in traffic?