Toyota suspends self-driving car tests after fatal Uber crash

12:57 PM | 22 Mar, 2018
Toyota suspends self-driving car tests after fatal Uber crash
NEW YORK – Japanese automaker Toyota said on Thursday that it would temporarily suspend testing of its 'Chauffeur' autonomous driving system on US roads and will not halt its testing in Japan.

The test suspension comes after a recent accident in Arizona, in which a self-driving vehicle of U.S. ride-hailing service company Uber Technologies Inc. hit and killed a pedestrian during a test run.

The Uber vehicle was travelling at about 40 mph when the incident happened. Uber announced shortly afterwards that it would be temporarily halting testing of self-driving cars in the United States and Canada. It is the first death that has been caused by an autonomous vehicle.

"We cannot speculate on the cause of the incident or what it may mean to the automated driving industry going forward

"Because Toyota Research Institute (TRI) feels the incident may have an emotional effect on its test drivers, TRI has decided to temporarily pause its own Chauffeur mode testing on public roads.", Business Insider quoted Toyota’s spokesperson as saying.

The company has not decided yet when to resume its test.

The Japanese automaker had been testing the fully autonomous Chauffeur system in California and Michigan through the Toyota Research Institute, which the company founded in 2015.The institute conducts research and development on artificial intelligence (AI).

Toyota earlier this month said it planned to invest up to 300 billion yen ($2.8 billion) with the goal of developing its self-driving car capabilities.

There is no technological link between the self-driving vehicles of Toyota and Uber, according to the institute.