Toyota halts its self-driving car testing in wake of Uber crash

Image: Toyota Research Institute

Toyota halted the testing of its autonomous vehicles on public roads in the US in the wake of a deadly crash involving a self-driving Uber in Arizona Sunday night. According to Bloomberg, the Japanese auto giant said it would temporarily cease testing its “Chauffeur” program out of respect for its test drivers.

“Toyota Research Institute does not have firsthand information on the tragic traffic fatality in Tempe, Arizona on Sunday, March 18,” a Toyota spokesperson said in an email to The Verge. “Our thoughts are first and foremost with the victim’s family.”

He added, “We cannot speculate on the cause of the incident or what it may mean to the automated driving industry going forward. 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 Research Institute, the automaker’s Silicon Valley arm, has been conducting on-road testing of the latest version of its autonomous vehicles in California and Michigan since the beginning of the year. Toyota has also been in talks with Uber about purchasing the ride-hail company’s self-driving software before the deadly crash. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi recently posted a photo on Twitter of himself with Toyota president Akio Toyoda at the automaker’s headquarters.

Other automakers with ties to Uber, like Mercedes-Benz and Volvo, have so far declined to comment on the crash or the state of their partnerships with the ride-hailing company. There are dozens of on-road self-driving vehicle tests going on around the country. Over 40 companies have permits to test autonomous vehicles in California.

Some safety advocates have called for a national moratorium on AV testing on public roads after a woman was killed by a self-driving Uber in Tempe, Arizona. Uber halted all of its autonomous testing in Arizona, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, and Toronto while law enforcement investigates the crash.

Comments

No need to defame her. until we have further evidence of what happened.

FTFY.

This kind of knee jerk reaction is exactly what I was worried about, self driving cars are always going to be safer than 99% of the fucking distracted idiots on the road today. We need to do MORE testing, not less.

Easy to say when other people are dying.

Easy to say when people just walk into traffic at night.

many people unfortunately die every single second on the roads, but nobody writes about them in the news…

Nope I’d say this if it was me (ok no I wouldn’t) or my family. I’m sorry and I agree that this is terrible but the fact is the average driver out their sucks ass at driving only. I’ll sacrifice my life if it means safer driving for my children or grandchildren.

Source?

Whilst that may be true, we should be doing smart testing, not brute force testing.

Behold, Techy arrogance, hubris and greed along with corrupt legislative and regulatory bodies. The first of many autonomous driving vehicle accidents and fatalities to come.

People are dying already. The goal is to minimize these deaths without giving up convenient transportation. How do you propose to do this without AI?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_vehicle_fatality_rate_in_U.S._by_year
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 2016 data shows 37,461 people were killed in 34,436 motor vehicle crashes, an average of 102 per day.

I think a better comparison would be crashes per mile rather than crashes per day.

Absolutely. I didn’t bring up that metric as a comparison to the current quality of self driving cars though, that would be a strange comparison given that self driving cars are mostly driven in ideal environments with human backup drivers, and it’s still an infant technology. I’m just defending the general idea of investing time and effort into the concept of self driving cars, because jasonbourne78 seems to think the concept is hubristic and only happening due to political corruption.

I was more interested in the topic Toyota may purchase the self driving system of Uber for sure than the topic Toyota halted its program to deploy them self driving cars in the public roads

Well, some ppl died when a few attempts were made to fly to the moon… a few ppl died during the first planes…. with every invention there’s these risks… now, I really hope they use this data for the good of improving the tech, to not hurt more innocent ppl… … we need smarter tech and maybe better sensors.

It can still happen with a driver now imagine with a selfless driver. The same with pilots and auto pilot …

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