Toyota puts brakes on self-driving car development, for now

March 23, 2018

After the fatal pedestrian collision in Tempe, Arizona, Sunday involving a Volvo XC90 crossover fitted with Uber's self-driving technology, Toyota says it is halting testing of its autonomous car tech.

The automaker has paused on-road development of its Chauffeur Autonomous System on all public roadways citing the potential “emotional effect” on its human drivers. Toyota has not made it clear how long the break in testing will last or whether or not they are reviewing their own technology.

MORE: Toyota unveils its 2019 Corolla Hatchback

The Uber vehicle in Arizona had a human driver behind the wheel to intercede in case of an emergency at the time of the collision.

It has not yet been determined whether or not Uber was at fault in the Tempe incident. Tempe police are investigating the case with the NHTSA and NTSB and the Maricopa County District Attorney will ultimately be responsible for filing charges, if there are any. The case is being closely monitored by the industry as it could impact how future incidents are handled when pedestrians are involved.

Toyota began investing in Uber in 2016 and has recently been in talks to purchase Uber’s self-driving technology. The Toyota-Uber deal isn't likely in jeopardy, however.

-- by Ruben Porras

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