The incident was blamed on a truck driver, but the agency nonetheless wants to learn more about how autonomous cars interact with human-driven vehicles.
The National Transportation Safety Board is planning to investigate the recent collision involving a Las Vegas shuttle bus during its first day of service.
The incident was blamed on a truck driver who allegedly struck the stationary bus. City officials said the bus did "what it was supposed to do" and stopped when sensors registered the truck, but the truck did not stop and grazed the front fender.
"Had the truck had the same sensing equipment that the shuttle has the accident would have been avoided," officials added.
The timing of the accident -- within hours of the autonomous pilot project going live -- contributed to the story going viral across mainstream media.
The NTSB now wants to study the incident to explore "how self-driving vehicles interact with their environment and the other human-driven vehicles around them," agency spokesman Christopher O'Neil told Reuters.
Investigators will presumably compare the shuttle's reaction to the expected behavior of a human driver in the same scenario, such as honking a horn to alert the truck driver of an imminent collision or backing up into open space behind the shuttle to provide more room.