Autonomous shuttle company EasyMile has been ordered by a US agency to temporarily suspend passenger hauling services following a minor mishap.

The decision was made by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) after a passenger was injured in a braking incident.

According to EasyMile, a passenger fell from their seat when the self-driving vehicle made an emergency stop. The incident happened in the Linden residential area of Columbus, Ohio.

At the time of the incident, the vehicle was travelling at a speed of 11.4km/h.

Self-driving shuttles generally operate at low speeds across small geographic areas. All EasyMile vehicles have a human operator to facilitate operations.

The suspension will be in place while the US agency carries out a safety review of autonomous passenger shuttle services.

EasyMile is still allowed to conduct passenger-less testing of its vehicles in ten US states.

In a statement, the French company said: “It is paramount to EasyMile to use rigid safety protocols in every aspect of our technology. We continuously work to improve it and the comfort of passengers, and are running test loops on the ground for further analysis into the suddenness of the stop.

“We also train our customer service ambassadors to remind passengers to hold on when the vehicle is in motion and place signage in the shuttles to the same effect.”

The company added that it is working with NHTSA and other partners to resume passenger operations at the earliest.