The United States’ first self-driving bus rolled into downtown Las Vegas earlier this month.
The route is a short three blocks, but according to transit operator Keolis, it marks the first time an autonomous vehicle has shuttled passengers on a public road in the US. Although it’s only a test, the city says it marks another moment of ‘groundbreaking technology in the areas of alternative energy, citizen participation, transportation and social infrastructure’ in Las Vegas.
The test began on 11 January and will run until the 20th. The all-electric bus can carry about 12 passengers and travels at a limited speed of 16 mph (although the bus can do 30). Sensors on the bus detect obstacles, and passengers can bring the bus to a stop with the press of an emergency button. An employee is on hand while the bus is in motion to ensure safety.
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