Toyota Stops Self-Driving Car Tests Following Uber Fatal Crash

Toyota halts Chauffeur tests to protect its drivers 1 photo
Photo: Toyota
The March 18 crash which led to a pedestrian getting killed by a self-driving Uber SUV is beginning to have effects on similar projects being tested by other companies in the United States.
In the wake of the still-under-investigation incident, Toyota announced on Tuesday it will temporarily halt the tests of its Chauffeur autonomous driving system in the country.

The Japanese automaker does not justify the decision by the need to further analyze the safety of its system, but says it has has been made to protect the drivers involved in its project, which it claims have been affected by the tragedy.

“Because we feel the incident may have an emotional effect on our test drivers, we have decided to temporarily pause our Chauffeur mode testing on public roads,” Toyota said in a statement for Bloomberg.

Toyota introduced its self-driving system in the U.S. late last year, on two platforms, called the Guardian and Chauffer. The former is being tested with drivers who will be asked to intervene during the vehicle’s operation, while the latter is mainly autonomous.

The tens of other automakers, IT companies and start-ups doing tests in this field have not yet responded in any way to the Uber incident.

Despite the high-profile of the case and the implications it may have onnthe emerging industry, initial investigation into the incident in Tempe, Arizona, tends to blame it on the woman who got killed.

Tempe police released on Wednesday onboard footage from the Volvo XC90 involved in the crash, further strengthening the idea that the car is not at fault.

“It’s very clear it would have been difficult to avoid this collision in any mode based on how she came from the shadows right into the roadway,” local chief of police Sylvia Moir told the San Francisco Chronicle moments after the incident.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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