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Self-driving bus in crash just 2 hours after entering public service

Fear not, robots, it was a squishy meatsack to blame

A self-driving bus has been involved in a collision, barely two hours after being introduced into public service for the first time.

The vehicle was reportedly hit by a human-driven lorry, according to the BBC, which adds that the lorry driver was given a ticket by police.

Describing the accident with the bus as a “fender bender”, a City of Las Vegas official told the state broadcaster that the shuttle bus would probably be back on the road today following the mishap, which took place at a junction.

"The shuttle did what it was supposed to do and stopped,” public information officer Jace Radke told the Beeb. “Unfortunately the human element, the driver of the truck, didn’t stop.”

Autonomous vehicles have been involved in crashes prior to this one which were blamed on humans. A Google self-driving car was rear-ended by an impatient human in 2015, while a Tesla vehicle was infamously driven into a lorry that was crossing a junction last year.

In the UK a bill is going through Parliament at the moment to define when insurance companies will pay out in the event of an auto auto crash. Germany has already decreed that robot vehicles must be programmed to kill animals and destroy property before thinking of harming humans, while Volvo said a few years ago that it would “accept full liability” for crashes involving its autonomous cars. ®

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