LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – Some of the buses in downtown Las Vegas went driverless Wednesday, but not without a hiccup. The Kelolis driverless shuttle bus crashed with a semi-truck.
It happened at the intersection of Fremont Street and N. 7th Street. That’s a block away from Container Park.
“From what I’ve been told, the vehicle came to a stop as it’s designed to do, based on the distance it was from this particular truck. But the operator of the truck proceeded to back up, not judging where the vehicle was at that time,” said Maurice Bell, vice-president of mobility solutions for Keolis. “Where it rested is where it had stopped originally as the vehicle was making its turn.”
The autonomous bus crashed less than two hours after it was launched. Officials had hosted an unveiling ceremony to promote what they described as the nation’s first self-driving shuttle pilot project geared toward the public.
There were about eight people on the bus when it happened, but everyone was wearing seatbelts.
“We were all like, ‘h my gosh, he’s going to hit us, he’s going to hit us,’ and then, BAM,” said Jenny Wong, passenger on shuttle!
Wong said she didn’t think the driver of the truck saw them, so she thinks that’s why he continued to back up.
“The truck kept going and it kept turning and you can see the angle that it’s at, it couldn’t see us,” Wong said. “The driver was like, ‘what is going on? I just wanted back into the alley.'”
Police say no injuries were reported in the crash that is still under investigation.
The driver of the semi truck was cited.
According to Wong, this won’t prevent her from riding the bus in the future.
The oval-shaped shuttle that can transport up to 12 passengers has an attendant and computer monitor, but no steering wheel and no brake pedals. It uses GPS, electronic curb sensors and other technology to make its way.