Las Vegas is the proving ground for automated vehicles (AV). Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world, and is also supported by a foundation of technical expertise that makes our city a place for residents and visitors alike to benefit from advanced transportation solutions. These new technologies will increase the safety and efficiency on our roadways and the city recognizes the importance of investing in, testing and deploying automated technologies.
Las Vegas is also an ideal location for AV testing since the climate and urban area is conducive to year-round deployments. The city uniquely provides urban scenarios which are important for testing such as pedestrian activity, including tourists and visitors; highly mixed physical capability population; highly mixed ethnic and socio-economic populations; porte cochere operations; high levels of pedestrian and vehicle traffic 24 hours per day, and roadways with a variety of physical characteristics.
KEOLIS-AAA DRIVERLESS SHUTTLE PILOT
In partnership with AAA and Keolis, the city of Las Vegas and the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) have brought the future of transportation to America, and specifically, to downtown Las Vegas, with the nation’s first public self-driving shuttle pilot project. The all-electric, self-driving (Navya ARMA) shuttle offered people free rides so they can experience autonomous transportation in a real-world environment.
Covering a 0.6-mile loop in the Fremont East Entertainment District within the Innovation District of downtown Las Vegas, it was the largest self-driving pilot in the country to operate in live traffic and was geared specifically for the public. Over the course of a year, the self-driving shuttle provided over 30,000 people a first-hand experience of autonomous vehicle technology, exposing most riders to the technology for the first time. Introducing this new form of transportation is critical as autonomous vehicles will ultimately shape the future of mobility, improving traffic management and enhancing safety.
The pilot project was also the country’s first self-driving shuttle to be fully integrated with “smart city” infrastructure, meaning it communicated vehicle-to-infrastructure with devices such as traffic signals. Southern Nevada has one of the nation’s first truly integrated Intelligent Transportation Systems across all jurisdictions in the region with the RTC Traffic Management Center, making it easier for technology companies to access data and demonstrate products that require connection to traffic signals and monitors. For this pilot, the traffic signal data was communicated to the vehicle via Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) radios as it travels along routes in an area bound by Las Vegas Boulevard and Fremont, Carson and Eighth Streets.
The shuttle can achieve a top speed of 28 mph, but operated at roughly 15 mph. It carried up to 8 passengers with seatbelts plus a safety attendant from Keolis to supervise operation and communicate with riders. The shuttle did not have a steering wheel or gas/brake pedals as it was guided by front and rear cameras, light-detecting sensors (including two 360-degree multi-layer LIDARs and six 180-degree mono-layer LIDARs), GPS and other state-of-the-art autonomous vehicle technologies. The vehicle used positional information and sensor data to create a three-dimensional image of its environment and make navigation decisions using its control system. These systems allowed the vehicle to detect unexpected obstacles in its vicinity and come to a safe stop when necessary.
The pilot project, funded by AAA and Keolis, was based in the heart of downtown Las Vegas because the city has developed and promoted progressive policies to further mobility and established an Innovation District to concentrate smart city technology infrastructure investment and testing. The self-driving shuttle was a natural addition to the Las Vegas Innovation District, which has become a testing ground for new technologies.
By offering the public a firsthand experience with a self-driving shuttle, the pilot project has helped the public become more comfortable with autonomous vehicles. It has also enabled the city of Las Vegas, RTC, and project partners to understand the customer experience and learn more about how autonomous vehicles operate in mixed traffic so they can be deployed for public use in the future.The Pilot Project AgreementThe Pilot Project Agreement, First Amendment < Back to all