A self driving car proved not entirely successful as it crashed into a delivery truck, raising serious safety concerns about such automated vehicles.
The test-drive event of the driverless car was sponsored by the American Automobile Association. The event was attended by the Mayor of Las Vegas Carolyn Goodman. The driverless car was in its final stage of test when the accident happened.
The driverless car, known as Arma, can carry up to 12 passengers. It is built without a steering wheel or brake pedals. It is unclear what led to the crash; though, City officials appear to put the blame on the driver of the delivery truck.
— City of Las Vegas (@CityOfLasVegas) November 8, 2017
A representative with the City of Las Vegas said:
“The autonomous shuttle was testing today when it was grazed by a delivery truck downtown. The shuttle did what it was supposed to do, in that it’s sensors registered the truck and the shuttle stopped to avoid the accident.
“Unfortunately, the delivery truck did not stop and grazed the front fender of the shuttle. Had the truck had the same sensing equipment that the shuttle has the accident would have been avoided. Testing of the shuttle will continue during the 12-month pilot in the downtown Innovation District.”
However, a photo of the crash clearly shows the self driving car crashed into the delivery truck, which appears to be stationary.
— Kathleen Jacob FOX5 (@Kathleenjjacob) November 8, 2017
According to the engineers, the driverless car has the capability to immediately apply its brakes once something crosses its path unexpectedly. Officials claim the car applied its brakes just as programmed but the delivery truck still crashed into it. There were some minor damages to the car but nobody was injured.
Las Vegas is the first U.S. city to have a self driving car fully functioning and driving with the conventional cars. Stakeholders behind the self driving car project are determined to see its success despite the challenges. Officials say the car will continue to run in a continuous loop downtown of the city of Las Vegas.
They also added that the goal of test-drive of the car is to get at least a quarter of a million people — local residents and visitors in Las Vegas — to experience the new technology firsthand. Currently, the rides of the driverless car are free and can be taken at any of the three stops located on Fremont and Carson Streets between Las Vegas Boulevard and 8th Street.