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