Toyota Stops Using Self-Driving Vehicle during Paralympics after Accident with Blind Athlete

Toyota Motor Corporation has suspended the use of the self-driving vehicle at the Tokyo Paralympic Games village a day after one “e-Palette” collided with a visually impaired athlete, injuring them.

Aramitsu Kitazono, an 81kg athlete from Japan, will be unable to compete this weekend due to cuts and bruises sustained in the collision with the “e-Palette” vehicle.

Toyota Chief Executive Akio Toyoda apologized for the incident, saying he was worried about the athlete.

‘We are very sorry that the accident has made many people worried,” Toyoda said

“A vehicle is stronger than a person, so I was obviously worried about how they were. It shows that autonomous vehicles are not yet realistic for normal roads,” he added.

Toyota has been showcasing its autonomous vehicles via a shuttle service that has been running around the clock in the athletes’ village as part of its sponsorship of Tokyo 2020.

Toyoda paid a visit to the accident site and reviewed the incident’s video footage. He admitted that “overconfidence” in autonomous driving technology existed.

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