In Brief

Toyota halts driverless trials after fatal Uber crash

Japanese car giant says accident may have ‘emotional effect’ on test drivers

Toyota has called off trials of its driverless cars on US roads following a fatal accident between an Uber autonomous vehicle and a pedestrian in Arizona on Sunday. 

The Japanese car giant said it decided to pull the trials due to the “emotional effect” that news of the fatality may have on its human test drivers, who are required to travel inside the company’s driverless cars in case of an emergency. 

It’s not yet known when Toyota will restart its “Chauffeur” autonomous trials, says Engadget, nor whether the car firm will “review” the technology first. 

The move “could put pressure” on other automotive firms operating driverless vehicles, such as Google’s Waymo and Tesla, to cease trials while the fatal accident is under investigation, the Financial Times reports.  

However, two major US carmakers, Ford and General Motors, have stated that they will continue their autonomous driving programmes, the FT says. 

According to the BBC, the Uber incident is the first fatality involving a driverless car. The victim, Elaine Herzberg, 49, was reportedly walking across a street in Tempe when she was struck by the vehicle.

Experts believe autonomous cars could potentially reduce accidents, but some are concerned the tech “is not ready” yet for public trials, and have urged regulators to phase in “more stringent safety tests”. 

Meanwhile, Bloomberg says Toyota had been planning a collaboration with Uber to develop autonomous technology. 

An image of Uber chief Dara Khosrowshahi and Toyota president Akio Toyoda at the car company’s headquarters in Tokyo emerged on Twitter before the accident, the news site says. No details of the partnership have been disclosed.

Recommended

Aston Martin DBX707: the fastest production SUV on sale
Aston Martin DBX707
Expert’s view

Aston Martin DBX707: the fastest production SUV on sale

Citroën C3: what the car critics say
Citroën C3 2022
Expert’s view

Citroën C3: what the car critics say

The tech stock rout: what the experts think 
Ark’s Cathie Wood: tech casualty
Expert’s view

The tech stock rout: what the experts think 

Škoda Fabia: what the car critics say
Škoda Fabia 2022 car
Expert’s view

Škoda Fabia: what the car critics say

Popular articles

The mysterious Russian oligarch deaths
Vladimir Putin has previously deployed ‘extreme measures’ to crush opposition
Why we’re talking about . . .

The mysterious Russian oligarch deaths

Is Vladimir Putin seriously ill?
Vladimir Putin
Why we’re talking about . . .

Is Vladimir Putin seriously ill?

Depp v. Heard: what the latest battle has revealed
Amber Heard
In Depth

Depp v. Heard: what the latest battle has revealed

The Week Footer Banner