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[WATCH] Las Vegas: self-driving shuttle bus crashes two hours after launch

The crash follows the US House passing the Self Drive Act, which, if passed, would allow for the deployment of up to 100,000 driverless test vehicles

9 November 2017, 11:07am
(Photo: Cetus news)
(Photo: Cetus news)

A driverless shuttle bus crashed, less than two hours after being launched in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

The city’s officials were hosting an unveiling ceremony for the bus, which was described as the “US’ first self-driving shuttle pilot project”, geared towards the public.

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, the driver of the truck the driverless bus collided with was at fault. There were no injuries and the incident caused minor damage.

The shuttle, which was sponsored by the AAA, could transport up to 12 passengers at a time. It also has an attendant and computer monitor and uses GPS, as well as electric curb sensors instead of brake pedals or steering wheels.

The crash follows the US House passing the Self Drive Act in September, which, if passed, would exempt car manufacturers from various regulations, both federal and state. This would allow for the eventual deployment and release of up to 100,000 test vehicles per year.

Under this act, US states would still be able to decide whether or not to allow for self-driving cars on the roads. However, the federal government may permit a car manufacturer to bypass certain federal safety rules, as well as some state regulations.

Car manufacturers around the world are still investing in autonomous vehicle efforts. Volvo plans to involve every-day drivers in its “Drive Me” pilot on the streets of London in December; while Intel's Mobileye is in the process of building over 100 level four SAE vehicles, which it will test in the United States, Israel, and Europe starting this year.

Last month, General Motors announced its acquisition of LiDAR developer Strobe, in order to accelerate the development of its autonomous vehicle tech. Last year, Toyota opened a research institute with a focus on fully autonomous driving.

Level four vehicles are “designed to perform all safety-critical driving functions and monitor roadway conditions for an entire trip”, according to the Department of Transport. 

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