September 17, 2018

Here’s one autonomous vehicle that seems to be making some headway: the bus

Las Vegas now holds the largest autonomous bus pilot program in the US, as it now looks to improve infrastructure for the real thing.

Last November, Las Vegas launched an autonomous bus route along a tourist-heavy stretch of Fremont Street, using an autonomous vehicle made by the globally renowned AV maker, NAVYA, and operated by Keolis Transit.

Driverless buses continue to trend across America, as cities become more excited at the idea of autonomous-shuttling capabilities, but Vegas is leading the charge as the first to put them on public streets.

The program is now the largest AV bus pilot in the US

The AV shuttle is a free service for Las Vegas visitors and residents, spanning 8 city intersections, 6 traffic lights, and 2 stop signs — all without a human behind the wheel.

Over the last year, the autonomous vehicle industry has played into everyone’s driverless vehicle fears with a number of mishaps: like Uber, which was forced to halt its pilot initiative in Arizona after a fatal accident.

But, NAVYA hasn’t slipped up yet

Axios reports that back in January, NAVYA partnered with Via — a major developer in on-demand rideshare tech — to perfect both convenience, safety, and user experience within AV rides. And it seems to have kept the company out of trouble (for the most part).

Other than a first day speed bump, when another truck wrongfully ran into the AV 2 hours into its maiden voyage, the service has reportedly run safely and without accident since.

The next step for the service is to prove infrastructure can support the ever-evolving, ever-expanding operational capabilities of the AV market.

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