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Driverless shuttle being tested in Las Vegas

By KEN RITTER Associated Press

LAS VEGAS -- There's a new thrill on the streets of downtown Las Vegas, where high- and low-rollers alike are climbing aboard what officials call the first driverless electric shuttle operating on a public U.S. street.

The oval-shaped shuttle began running Tuesday as part of a 10-day pilot program, carrying up to 12 passengers for free along a short stretch of the Fremont Street East entertainment district.

The vehicle has a human attendant and computer monitor, but no steering wheel and no brake pedals.

Passengers push a button at a marked stop to board it.

The shuttle uses GPS, electronic curb sensors and other technology, and doesn't require lane lines to make its way.

"The ride was smooth. It's clean and quiet and seats comfortably," said Mayor Carolyn Goodman, who was among the first public officials to hop a ride on the vehicle developed by the French company Navya and dubbed Arma.

"I see a huge future for it once they get the technology synchronized," the mayor said Friday.

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