Toyota pauses self-driving ‘e-Palette’ service after one crashed into an Olympic athlete

toyota pauses self-driving ‘e-palette’ service after one crashed into an olympic athlete

Toyota has halted its autonomous shuttle service in Tokyo’s Olympic village after one of its vehicles collided with a visually impaired athlete, Reuters reported. Technically, the vehicle was not driving autonomously but was under manual control at the time of the incident.

Toyota had been operating dozens of its “e-Palette” shuttles during the Olympics as a demonstration of a far-out concept the company first showed off in 2018. Back then, the automaker said its e-Palettes, which are modular battery-electric vehicles without traditional controls like steering wheels or pedals, could operate either as ride-hailing shuttles or mobile retail spaces.

Toyota saw the Olympics as an opportunity to demonstrate its new technology. The boxy…

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