Toyota suspends self-driving car tests after Uber death

March 22, 2018
Japanese automaker Toyota says it is suspending tests of its self-driving cars so staff could "emotionally process" af
Japanese automaker Toyota says it is suspending tests of its self-driving cars so staff could "emotionally process" after an autonomous Uber car killed a pedestrian in an accident

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 after one of its vehicles struck and killed a pedestrian Sunday in the US state of Arizona.

"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 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 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 .

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.

Explore further: Uber suspends self-driving car program in 2 states

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