Toyota suspends public autonomous testing in U.S. following Uber crash

  • Toyota suspends public autonomous testing in U.S. following Uber crash

Toyota suspends public autonomous testing in U.S. following Uber crash

Uber has postponed a show-and-tell of its self-driving vehicles after the deadly crash in Arizona.

Uber's testing was halted after police in a Phoenix suburb said one of its self-driving vehicles struck and killed a pedestrian overnight on March 18.

Herzberg later died from her injuries in a hospital, police said.

Of course, this means that Uber has to temporarily suspend the testing of the SDA units which are now happening in Arizona, Pittsburgh and Toronto.

"Arizona has been the wild west of robot auto testing with virtually no regulations in place", said Consumer Watchdog, a non-profit consumer advocacy group. "Our hearts go out to the victim's family", the company said in a statement.

USA federal safety regulators were sending teams to investigate the crash.

A report from the US National Vehicle Crash Causation Survey revealed that "94% of all accidents in the US are caused by human error (i.e. drivers)".

Anthony Foxx, former United States secretary of transportation, said the accident was a "wake up call to the entire industry and government to put a high priority on safety".

"That's a real contrast that we should keep in mind about this", he said. All true, but as they drive more and more miles, we may discover that they have problems humans don't. "We should be terrified about human driving".

Some see this as a unsafe gamble, particularly since certain countries or individual states (like Arizona) adopt a lenient approach to testing in order to lure profitable tech companies.

Many self-driving companies have circled 2020 as the date when self-driving vehicle technology would be deployed on American roads. "Because we feel the incident may have an emotional effect on our test drivers, we have chose to temporarily pause our Chauffeur mode testing on public roads". Arizona has no reporting requirements.

During that interview in January with Bloomberg editor-in-chief John Micklethwait, Khosrowshahi argued that self driving cars will be safer than human drivers. That's why Uber and Waymo test there.

When Khosrowshahi first addressed Uber employees past year, he emphasized the need for Uber to "pay the bills". No serious injuries were reported, and the driver of the other auto was cited for a violation. This incident is believed to be first death accident by an autonomous and self-driving technology. In May of 2016, a Tesla Model S hit a tractor-trailer.

The NTSB said that driver inattention was to blame but that design limitations with the system played a major role in the crash. The agency said vehicle makers should have safeguards that keep drivers engaged.

The U.S. Transportation Department is considering further voluntary guidelines that it says would help foster innovation. NHTSA also said it was in contact with Volvo.