[Photos] "I Was On The Self-Driving Bus That Crashed In Vegas. Here's What Really Happened"

Submitted by: daegog 1 week ago in News & Politics

The Las Vegas Driverless Bus on its maiden voyage.

This guy, Jeff Zurschmeide, claims he was in Las Vegas on the driverless bus that got in an accident within the first hour of its maiden voyage -- IAB covered the crash yesterday here. In an first-hand account of the accident, Zurschmeide explains the experience:

The bus drives very conservatively. If it senses a person walking across the street ahead, it stops. If there’s traffic on the street when it’s at a stop, it waits for the road to clear. It goes along at about 20 mph, and it’s a really gentle ride. The self-driving shuttle does exactly what it’s supposed to do.

On our ride, we encountered a medium-large articulated delivery truck stopped in the street. The driver was trying to back his trailer into an alleyway on the left. The shuttle bus very obediently stopped a reasonable distance from the truck and waited for it to move. That’s where things went wrong.

What the autonomous shuttle bus didn’t expect was that the truck would back up towards it. As the driver was swinging the trailer into the alley, the tractor portion of the truck was coming right at us – very slowly. We had plenty of time to watch it happen. I was taking pictures.

The driver of the truck was probably watching where his trailer was going, and didn’t notice where we were. The so-called “crash” happened in super slow motion, and merely dented the plastic panels on the front of the shuttle. It was no big deal, although the
Keolis attendant was understandably upset.
There are 20 comments:
Male 15,339
The problem is these vehicles are rare. If all cars were self driving and cooperated, it would be stunning to see what they could do.

A human driver would have honked his horn at the reversing truck, or backed up a bit. But the self driving vehicle doesn't have an algorithm for that so it froze.
0
Reply
Male 40,264
Why are there windshield wipers on a car with no driver to look out ?
0
Reply
Male 1,529
Gerry1of1 so the victims can more clearly see their impending doom:).  

Seriously, this thing looks like it’s going to make cabs as we know them obsolete and the price will go down even more than with Uber.
1
Reply
Male 41,157
woodyville06 SNORT! lolz! Nice one!

To wipe away the blood of the people it smashes into... don't want that stuff drying on the glass eh? So hard to get it off...

0
Reply
Male 3,289
woodyville06 
Where I live, Lyft is even cheaper than Uber, But I think it will be a long time before automated cars come to the mountains in WNC.
0
Reply
Male 1,529
captkangaroo I need to try Lyft.  I have only used Uber twice but both times it was great.
1
Reply
Male 41,157
captkangaroo Or to the snows of Winnipeg :p

They have great potential, and have come a long way in such a short time! But... still...
0
Reply
Male 1,529
captkangaroo correct, this will flow out from the more heavily populated areas.  It will be awhile before rural areas are served. 
1
Reply
Male 1,223
Gerry1of1 For the same reason the windshield is transparent.
0
Reply
Male 41,157
lockner01 Ooo! Another good answer! 

(It's so the passengers can see where the trolley is going of course...)
0
Reply
Male 3,664
And there we go.  If the truck was self-driven as well this would not have happened.

Hell, my car will beep at me if there is something behind or even in my blind spot to the left and right due to the radar technology.  If this data could have (would have) been shared between the vehicles, either the truck would have stopped or the bus could follow a protocol to back up.
1
Reply
Male 1,529
kalron27 when all vehicles are autonomous they will take road rage to a whole new level :)

They will need to redo terminator 3, rise of the machines.  It wasn’t skynet becoming self aware that brought about the apocalypse, it was all the self driving vehicles.


1
Reply
Male 1,223
So it didn't crash then.
-1
Reply
Male 1,529
lockner01 the headline “human driver backs into stopped autonomous vehicle” wouldn’t get the attention they were looking for.
2
Reply
Male 41,157
So not its fault then, but it needs to figure out how to HONK the horn or back up eh??
Nice follow-up :-)
0
Reply
Male 1,201
5cats No.  The driver of the truck just needs to learn to pay attention to the road he is disrupting.  This was entirely his fault for not looking at the road that there was traffic was on.
1
Reply
Male 41,157
waldo863 Yes that's true, I agree! 100% the truck driver's fault.

I'm just saying a human bus (trolley?) driver would have honked and backed up. To be safer the AI needs to do that also in this sort of situation.
0
Reply
Male 1,223
5cats Maybe there was a car behind the trolley and it couldn't back up.

Also I just realized that's Penn and Teller in the 7th photo.
0
Reply
Male 41,157
lockner01 Wow! I missed that too! You have the "Eye Of Eagle" eh? :-)

And a good point, although the lack of honking is still unexplained...
0
Reply
Male 1,201
lockner01 Holy Crap!! How did I miss Penn and Teller?!?!

Thanks for pointing that out.
1
Reply