A driverless shuttle set free in downtown Las Vegas was involved in a minor accident less than an hour after it hit the streets, reported the local NBC affiliate KSNV. Not really the kind of publicity you want, or that self-driving cars need.
The shuttle, an egglike 8-seater Navya, is operated by the AAA and Keolis. It was a test deployment along half a mile of the Fremont East “Innovation District,” so this thing wasn’t cruising the strip. Probably a good thing.
Now, it must be said that technically the robo-car was not at fault. It was struck by a semi that was backing up, and really just grazed — none of the passengers was hurt.
Like any functioning autonomous vehicle, the shuttle can avoid obstacles and stop in a hurry if needed. What it apparently can’t do is move a couple feet out of the way when it looks like a 20-ton truck is going to back into it.
Why the hard push for driverless cars? There is no reason to create new, extremely complex infrastructure in order to not have a driver handy when you need one.