Following the incident in Tempe, Arizona where an autonomous vehicle owned by American ride-sharing giant Uber struck down a pedestrian, Japanese automobile major Toyota has announced that it has put its driverless car programme on hold, reports The Wall Street Journal.
While Uber announced that it would put its programme on hold, Toyota said that tests of its ‘Chauffeur’ mode would be suspended on public roads in California and Michigan – the two states where it is currently testing them – but would continue field tests in Japan. The company expressed concern over the “Uber incident” having an emotional effect on their drivers.
However, other companies in the field of self-driven cars have not put their plans on hold. Detroit-based Ford Motors said that it had no plans to change their testing operations while General Motors said that they were looking at launching their autonomous vehicles commercially next year.
Japan’s Nissan Motors said that its vehicle testing protocol included a trained test driver constantly engaging with the vehicle while an engineer would be present at all times in the vehicle.
Experts have hailed Toyota’s move as a sign of respect, but have also pointed out that only ‘real world experiences’ would help determine the cause of the accident and prevent such accidents in the future.
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