The cause of the crash of an unmanned bus in Las Vegas - the inattention of a man
A few days ago on Geektimes it was reported that an unmanned bus went on the route in Las Vegas. He was launched on a regular flight, but in the first hour of his journey, the robocar collided with a delivery service truck. Fortunately, there were no casualties in this accident. The accident itself was accidental, and the culprit of the incident was not a bus at all.
Passengers of the bus can tell about what happened, and some of them are not going to remain silent, because in the media the whole story is getting quite fantastic outlines. “The wider this story is on the Internet, the more its essence is distorted,” says Jeff Zurhmayd, a passenger bus passenger. He was in a vehicle when a truck ran into him, if at all it could be called a collision. Jeff decided to talk about what happened in reality.
So, according to Jeff, unmanned shuttle buses for Las Vegas are not new, they have already cruised the streets of the city this year, and there were no problems with them. The UAV project itself was implemented by the joint efforts of the city authorities, the AAA and the Southern Nevada Regional Transportation Commission. Another participant in the project is Keolis North America.
Bus model - Navya Arma . This is an autonomous electric vehicle produced in France. The bus is used not only in the USA, but also in some European cities. The capacity of the cabin is 12 people, including a Keolis representative.
Before launching an unmanned bus on a flight to Las Vegas, the project organizers held a press conference. It said a lot of good words in favor of automatic vehicles, including the fact that 90% of accidents are now a human factor, that is, mistakes made by people. According to supporters of the automation of the transport sector, the fewer drivers, people on the roads, the fewer accidents.
So what happened?
Immediately after the participants of the press conference listened to everything they were told, an autonomous bus drove up to the building. All the people interested in technology were invited to his salon, so the seats were quickly occupied. The bus started and drove along the road at a speed of about 30 km / h. According to the passengers, the trip was excellent until the delivery truck stopped in the middle of the street. The truck driver attempted to maneuver in order to rearrange the trailer. The bus stopped at a decent distance from the truck and began to expect opportunities to continue the journey.
But what no one expected was the fact that the truck would begin to gradually approach the bus. The driver tried to move the trailer, and making maneuvers, approaching the bus. He continued to stand still, everything was happening very slowly.The development of events is recorded on photos from the scene. As far as can be judged, the driver of the truck simply did not orient and incorrectly estimated the distance to the bus. What is called a “collision” in many news stories happened as if in slow motion. When the truck finally touched the body of the bus, the plastic plates of the latter were slightly bent, but that was all.
The collision, if you can call it that, was due to a human error, like all those 90% of the accidents mentioned at the press conference. The truck driver received a fine, and deservedly, because he was visible in the rear-view mirrors of the bus, and he, in turn, had to follow what was happening. But the driver decided not to look into his own rear-view mirrors, and what happened happened.
The fact that a robotic bus and a truck collided on the road is pure coincidence, such situations occur daily, and only inattentive drivers are to blame for accidents. Witnesses to the accident say that it was probably worth returning the bus to avoid a collision. But it seems that this maneuver was not foreseen by the developers, so it is worth making adjustments to the autopilot program so that such problems do not recur. By the way, for some models of the newest passenger cars, the on-board computer is able to solve such problems.