Toyota temporarily pauses 'Chauffeur' autonomous car test following Uber incident

Polycount

Posts: 2,513   +549
Staff member

Self-driving car tech may be in its infancy but many have long felt it could prove to be a much safer alternative to regular human driving.

While that might very well be the case in the future, the industry hit a bit of a roadblock recently when a vehicle taking part in Uber's self-driving pilot test program in Arizona was involved in a fatal accident.

The accident, which occurred on Sunday in Tempe city, involved the vehicle in question colliding with 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg as she attempted to cross the road with a bicycle at night. Tragically, Herzberg later died from her injuries in the hospital. The vehicle's operator claimed Herzberg's crossing was "like a flash," giving the driver very little time to react.

Though Tempe police have since said the accident was not likely Uber's fault, the incident seems to be making other industry players a bit uneasy.

Indeed, Toyota could be one of the first companies working on autonomous car tech to get cold feet. According to Bloomberg, the company has temporarily paused their public "Chauffeur" autonomous vehicle tests throughout the US.

"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,"

"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 spokesperson Brian Lyons said in an email.

Lyons also reportedly claimed Toyota "could not speculate" on the cause of the Uber crash or what it could mean for the future of autonomous car tech. The carmaker did not say when they plan to reinstate the Chauffeur program.

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ShagnWagn

Posts: 1,297   +1,081
Of course. Who would be heartless at a needless death? More and more will get killed in similar situations. Not to mention the trillion other daily variables that will lead to more needless deaths. Anyone else like to test these by walking in front of one? Just wait until they start putting semis with this at the public's safety risk.
 
B

Brock Kane

Seen the video! As sad as that is, it was her fault. Nobody or autonomous car could have stopped in time. She basically walked right in front of car at full speed. Video shows the car had no chance to stop.
 

seefizzle

Posts: 422   +292
It would be nice to see an estimate of the total number of miles driven by all self driving car programs. I know waymo stated that they had driven 4 million miles at some point. I don't know the total mileage of all the different players in the industry. Combine Ford, GM, Toyota and all the other manufacturers, I'd bargain that it's probably close to 10 million miles driven by everyone combined. Someone who is better at statistics than myself, tell me how many traffic fatalities would occur by human drivers over the course of the same amount of miles driven.
 
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