August 27, 2021

(Reuters) – Toyota Motor said on Friday it had suspended operations of its self-driving e-Palette transportation pods at the Paralympic Games village in Tokyo, a day after one of the vehicles collided with a visually impaired pedestrian.

The e-Palette multi-purpose vehicle was being used to carry athletes around the Olympic village at low speeds.

“We are fully cooperating with the police investigation into the incident in order to determine the cause of this accident,” the company said in a statement

Toyota said it would conduct its own investigation and continue to coordinate closely with the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to prevent any further incidents.

The 2020 Paralympic Games began on Tuesday in Tokyo as Japan struggles with its worst COVID-19 outbreak so far, with record daily cases and an overwhelmed medical system.

(Corrects spelling to “e-Palette” in headline)

(Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)