Automaker Toyota has temporarily ceases its public road testing of its fully autonomous ‘Chauffeur’ system in the U.S. after an accident earlier this week saw an Uber self-driving test vehicle strike a pedestrian, which ultimately resulted in her death.
Police have stated that initial findings suggest the accident would’ve been extremely difficult to avoid regardless of whether a human or an AV system was in control at the time, because of quickly the victim crossed in front of the moving vehicle (outside of a crosswalk), but Toyota has indicated to Bloomberg that it’s hitting the brakes for now due to the potential “emotional effect on [its] test drivers.”
Toyota spokesperson Brian Lyons noted that the automaker couldn’t speculate on the cause of the cash or its implications for the future of the self-driving industry, which is a fairly standard line I’ve heard across automakers and other involved in the industry thus far, and which suggests a fair reluctance to make any lasting material decisions before all information is available regarding the Uber incident.
Toyota has been working on both its ‘Chauffeur’ fully automated driving system, as well as ‘Guardian,’ an advanced-driver assist system that is designed to institute fail-safes for intervening to prevent accidents when a human driver’s behavior puts themselves or others in danger.
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