Self-driving Toyota hits blind athletes: Toyota CEO makes harsh judgment


from Tobias Stahl am 31.08.2021

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As the main sponsor of this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, the Japanese car manufacturer Toyota has also provided autonomous shuttle vehicles. However, their autopilot apparently still needs to be revised: One of the shuttle vehicles had an accident in the Paralympic village with a visually impaired competitor, whereupon the Toyota boss found resigned words about autonomous driving. In the video you can see first impressions of an Audi that drove autonomously with our CHIP colleagues as early as 2020.

After an accident with a visually impaired pedestrian, Toyota temporarily shut down all of its self-driving shuttles in Tokyo last weekend. The incident occurred as part of the Paralympic Games that will be held in Tokyo this year and of which Toyota is the main sponsor.

In a Declaration by the car manufacturer it says: “First of all, we would like to sincerely apologize to the person who was injured in this unfortunate collision and wish them a speedy recovery. We also apologize for the inconvenience caused to those who use our mobility vehicles in the Olympic Village . “

The accident went off smoothly

The injured pedestrian is a visually impaired athlete who also wanted to take part in the games. However, the athlete had to give up his participation due to minor injuries sustained in the accident. The Toyota vehicle that’s on the name e-Palette hears, but was fortunately traveling at less than 2 km / h at the time of the collision.

According to Press release The self-driving shuttles from Toyota are already on the road again: On Monday, Toyota announced that the shuttles – now with more security personnel – are on the move again. The volume of the warning signals in the vehicles has also been increased.

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The Toyota shuttles transport the Olympic and Paralympic athletes between the individual facilities of the Olympic Village. However, the autonomous vehicles should initially play a bigger role during the sporting events: fans and tourists should be able to drive through Tokyo and to the individual events – the corona pandemic, however, did not allow the planned influx of visitors.

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda said in an additional statement that the accident illustrates the challenges that autonomous cars are still facing and that they are may not have grown yet are. He also found some honest words: “It shows that autonomous vehicles are not yet realistic for normal roads.”

Toyota e-palette: Driving around the Paralympics grounds again.

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