Japanese car manufacturer Toyota Motor Corp. On Friday, the same company announced that all of its self-driving buses have been taken out of service at the Olympic Village in Tokyo Reuters.
The decision follows an incident on Thursday, in which one of the so-called e-Palette buses collided and injured a visually impaired athlete participating in the ongoing Paralympic Games.
in a Youtube video The company’s CEO, Akio Toyoda, apologized for the incident and said he had offered to meet the injured person, but that was not possible.
“A car is stronger than a human, so obviously I was worried about his condition,” he said, answering questions about the accident.
Toyoda stated that the accident showed the difficulties that an autonomous vehicle faces in operating under the special conditions of the participating village during the Paralympic Games, where there are people with visual impairments or other disabilities.
“It shows that self-driving vehicles are not yet realistic on normal roads,” he said.
Toyoda said the car stopped at an intersection and was about to turn under manual control by the operator, who used the car’s joystick, when the car collided with the athlete at a speed of one to two kilometers per hour.
He further said that the Paralympics representatives told him that the athlete, who was conscious, was taken to the participating village medical center for treatment and was able to return to his place of residence.
According to plan, the athlete in question will compete at 10:30 local time on Saturday.
Investigation into the cause of the accident
The E-Palette, a fully autonomous, battery-powered electric vehicle, has been adapted specifically for use during the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, with large doors and electric ramps to allow groups of athletes to board quickly.
Toyota said it is working with a local police investigation into the cause of the accident, adding that it will also conduct its own investigation.
The Japanese automaker said in its statement that it will continue to coordinate closely with the Tokyo Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games to prevent further accidents.
Paralympic organizers could not immediately be reached for comment.
The Paralympic Games began on Tuesday in Tokyo, even though Japan is grappling with its worst outbreak of coronavirus, with record daily cases and a massive medical system, and will run until September 5.(Terms)Copyright Dagens Næringsliv AS and/or our suppliers. We want you to share our cases using a link that leads directly to our pages. All or part of the Content may not be copied or otherwise used with written permission or as permitted by law. For additional terms look here.
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