August 30, 2021

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Service has been suspended after one of the vehicles overturned and injured a visually impaired Japanese judoka at a crossroads last week, prompting Toyota chief executive Akio Toyoda to apologize in a video posted to YouTube .

“The vehicle sensor detected the pedestrian crossing and activated the automatic brake, and an operator also activated the emergency brake. However, the vehicle and the pedestrians made contact before it came to a complete stop”, The Japanese manufacturer said Monday in a statement.

The athlete Aramitsu Kitazono, who was only slightly injured in the incident, however had to give up the judo test on Saturday because of the cuts and bruises suffered.

Kitazono’s withdrawal is bad news for the Japanese company, which, along with other global automakers, is trying to develop autonomous vehicles that can operate safely on public roads.

The e-Palette, a fully autonomous battery-electric vehicle, has been fitted with large doors and power ramps to allow groups of athletes to quickly board.

Operators overseeing the vehicle will now control its speed and two security guards, instead of one, will be on board to ensure pedestrian safety, a company spokesperson said.

The volume of e-Palette horns will also be increased and the number of guides at the busiest crosswalks in the Athletes’ Village will increase from six to twenty, Toyota said.

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Heineken Entreprise – 08/16/2021 – CDI – MONS EN BAROEUL

RESPONSE DATE 01/10/2021

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