Toyota pauses self-driving vehicle testing amid Uber accident probe

21 March, 2018, 04:32 | Author: Jeannette Greene
  • Self-Driving Uber Car Crashes In Arizona — Kills Pedestrian

"Because we feel the incident may have an emotional effect on our test drivers, we have made a decision to temporarily pause our Chauffeur mode testing on public roads", spokesman Brian Lyons said in an emailed statement, referring to its hands-off testing mode.

So what does this all mean for the future of self driving cars?

Toyota has been testing its self-driving cars on public roads in MI and California.

"This tragic accident underscores why we need to be exceptionally cautious when testing and deploying autonomous vehicle technologies on public roads", said Democratic Senator Edward Markey, a member of the transportation committee, in a statement.

The person who controlled a self-driving Uber vehicle that killed an Arizona woman this week was a convicted felon, authorities said Tuesday.

Toyota is in no way connected to the Uber incident.

The Denver Post reported in November that Colorado officials penalized Uber $8.9 million for allowing 57 people with past criminal or motor vehicle offenses to drive for the company, according to the state's Public Utility Commission.

A year ago, Uber temporarily grounded its self-driving cars for a few days following a crash with another auto in Tempe.

The self-driving auto didn't slowdown before hitting Herzber.

Before coming to Arizona to test its autonomous technology, Uber ran into some issues with California's Department of Motor Vehicles regardings its permits.

The country's biggest carmaker, Jaguar Land Rover, has been experimenting with autonomous cars on roads in the Midlands and is set to demonstrate more of the cars' features, including emergency braking assistance, on urban streets this week. Almost all of them have been blamed on human motorists hitting the autonomous vehicle.

Rafaela Vasquez was at the wheel of the vehicle, which was in auto mode, when it struck Elaine Herzberg as she was walking a bicycle outside the crosswalk in Tempe at 10 p.m. on Sunday night. Last March, the company temporarily suspended its self-driving fleet after a Volvo XC90 overturned when another driver failed to yield, according to Tempe police.

MI and Arizona share very similar laws when it comes to testing self-driving cars while California requires a $5 million insurance plan, and that the company must report any crashes within 10 days in addition to an annual report detailing the company's test drivers' training.

"More than 90 percent of auto crashes in the US are thought to involve some form of driver error", Peter Hancock, a professor of psychology and civil engineering at the University of Central Florida, wrote in The Conversation.



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