Jumping onto autonomous vehicle bandwagon is not realistic, says Toyota CEO
At a time when the global automobile industry is rushing for autonomous driving technology adoption, Toyota president and CEO Akio Toyoda takes a different route. He seems to be worried about the technology and warned of the dangers of self-driving vehicles, reports Automotive News.
Toyoda's comment comes after the event that took place at Tokyo Paralympics. Toyota deployed a fleet of vehicles at the event and e-Palette were among them. One of these e-Pallete vehicles hit a visually impaired athlete during the event on August 26. Toyota apologized after the accident and expressed his views about self-driving vehicles.
He said that it is not at all realistic to think that self-driving cars can travel normally on ordinary roads. He also raised concern about the ongoing race to produce vehicles with Level 5 fully autonomous driving systems. Toyota said that there is pressure on the carmakers to become the first to deploy Level 5 vehicles but the companies should not jump onto such a bandwagon.
Interestingly, Toyoda's critical opinion about self-driving vehicles comes at a time when the Japanese automaker itself is working on autonomous driving technology.
This is not the first time Akio Toyoda expressed his concern about the latest technology developments in the automotive industry. Earlier in 2021, he also lamented the hype around electric vehicles. He said that electric vehicles are overhyped and also criticized the ban on internal combustion engine vehicles. He further said that Japan would run out of electricity in the summer if all the vehicles in the country become EVs.
The global automobile industry is currently facing several disruptions in terms of technology, service and business model. The major four disruptions are connected technology, autonomous driving technology, shared mobility business model and electrification. These are shortly known as CASE.