Close  

Toyota suspends self-driving car tests after Uber death

/ 05:53 PM March 22, 2018

A Toyota logo is pictured outside a dealership near Chester in north-west England.
Image: Paul Ellis/ AFP

Japanese automaker Toyota said Thursday it was suspending tests of its self-driving cars so staff could “emotionally process” after an autonomous Uber car killed a pedestrian in an accident.

Ride-sharing giant Uber has already suspended use of self-driving cars after one of its vehicles struck and killed a pedestrian Sunday in the US state of Arizona.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We cannot speculate on the cause of the incident or what it may mean to the automated driving industry going forward,” Toyota said in a statement issued via the US company that conducts its autonomous vehicle research TRI.

“TRI is pausing Chauffeur mode testing to let its drivers emotionally process this tragedy. We’re monitoring the situation and plan to resume testing at an appropriate time,” the statement said.

“This pause is meant to give them time to settle their feelings and come to a sense of balance.”

Toyota said it would continue its tests of semi-autonomous cars on closed circuits.

But all testing of autonomous cars on public roads, which was previously being conducted in Japan and the US states of California and Michigan, is on hold.

Toyota, like Uber, has safety drivers behind the wheel of its autonomous cars during testing, though the drivers are not typically expected to operate the vehicles.

The Uber accident was the first fatal self-driving car crash involving a pedestrian and has raised fresh concern about the safety of autonomous vehicles.

German automaker BMW said Wednesday expressed sympathies over the incident but said it would not affect its self-driving car project, while Nissan has made no comment. AB

RELATED STORIES:

ADVERTISEMENT

Uber self-driving car kills pedestrian

Flying cars eye takeoff at Geneva Motor Show

Autonomous cars: Still many questions to answer

TOPICS: car crash, self-driving cars, Toyota, Uber
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.