A driverless shuttle in Las Vegas made its official debut on public streets. Two hours into the job, it got in its first crash.

As it turns out, you don't have to be human to have a bad first day of work.

To be fair to the shuttle, the fender bender was caused by the other driver - a delivery truck that backed into the front of the shuttle, which stopped after it sensed it was in danger of collision, according to a report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The shuttle, which is being run through a partnership of vehicle company Navya and transportation firm Keolis, had already been through a successful controlled trial in Vegas.


Las Vegas' shuttle is not the only driverless vehicle to be in a crash that wasn't its fault. In fact, tests from Google's driverless car project reports that most - but not all - of the crashes it has logged appear to be the fault of a human, in some capacity.

In some cases, it's been the fault of the human sitting behind the wheel of the driverless car; others have been due to outside vehicles. The same seems to hold true for driverless vehicles being tested on roads in California, according to the crash reports testers are compelled to file with the state.

Keolis Transit America's vice president of mobility solutions, Maurice Bell, told the Review-Journal that the firm would take the information from the crash and learn from it.

"We have extensive data to be able to tell us what occurred and what we could do in the future to improve."

Keolis did not immediately respond to a request for comment on what data it could glean to make a better shuttle in the future.

The debate over driverless vehicles and their effect on road safety continues to be a hot-button issue, as more cars take to the road. Nevada has already allowed testing of autonomous semi-trucks. Lyft said this summer that it's planning to launch self-driving ride-shares by the end of the year, though someone will still be in the driver's seat.

California recently approved rules that will let autonomous vehicles drive without anyone behind the wheel. And a recent study from the RAND Corporation, published this week, made an impassioned case for the government to allow driverless cars onto the road even if they're not yet "perfect", if they can prove they're safer than what we have now.

"Waiting for the cars to perform flawlessly is a clear example of the perfect being the enemy of the good,"said RAND researcher Nihri Kalra.


As the Las Vegas shuttle crash illustrates, however, one of the biggest challenges may be getting human drivers used to autonomous vehicles.