back to article Toyota resumes autonomous Paralympics buses after vehicle hit judo competitor, forced him out of match

Toyota’s autonomous shuttle service at the Paralympic games in Japan this year has recruited more humans to oversee its vehicles after one of the machines ran over an athlete. Aramitsu Kitazono, 30, representing Japan in judo at the Paralympics, withdrew from the competition at the weekend after he was hit by Toyota’s …

  1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge


    to be upgraded to e-Pedestrian standard to make them compatible with e-Palettes

  2. GloriousVictoryForThePeople

    A Toyota spokes droid said:

    "Our autonomous vehicles are working unstoppably to qualify more athletes for the next paralympics"

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      You sick, sick individual.

      Have an upvote.

    2. Sceptic Tank Silver badge

      The people under the bus go round and round.

  3. jake Silver badge

    Instead of hiring a dozen more humans per intersection ...

    .... how about they swallow their pride, admit their product is nowhere near ready for prime-time (and probably never will be!), and hire a few actual drivers?

    Dumb-ass motherfuckers ... Toyota obviously thinks corporate pride is far more important than human life. I've just put them on my personal "do not ever buy" list. Hopefully I'm not alone.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Instead of hiring a dozen more humans per intersection ...


      To be fair, who could have predicted in advance that there would be visually impaired people and others with reduced mobility at the Paralympics...

  4. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    The Register has asked Toyota for further comment.

    Perhaps they think they can ignore it & wave a magic errr wand over it to make the incident disappear.

  5. Sceptic Tank Silver badge

    No more ROTM?

    I don't think it was an accident.

  6. big_D Silver badge


    increased from six to at least 20 at each intersection in the Athletes’ Village, and will receive more training on "the diverse needs of pedestrians which are unique to the Paralympics."

    So, disabled people on normal streets don't need the same level of protection as those taking part in the Paralympics? The PR department should try actually proof-reading this garbage, before publishing it!

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: WTF?

      On the other hand, host cities are always complaing about the vast cost of running the show. Maybe this was part of the plan to reduce costs, by reducing numbers of competitors? This would explain the reason for the twenty staff at each intersection, armed with nets and spears, in order to keep the victims in the path of the oncoming death-buses.

  7. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "the machine failed to brake in time"

    Great publicity for Toyota's autonomous programming. Congrats. There must be a rogue engineer in there somewhere.

    Meanwhile, how about hiring one human per bus, to drive it ?

    Or at least slam the brakes when necessary, since the machine apparently can't do it reliably.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: "the machine failed to brake in time"


      ...just maybe it had passengers on board and (correctly) decided that braking lightly and hitting one person at reduced speed was a better option than catapulting a dozen others out of their seats and down the vehicle?

      We need the full details. Sometimes, when driving a passenger carrying vehicle, hitting the pedestrian that just walked out in front of you is the right option, regardless of crossings, right of way, etc.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    According to the Guardian where I first read this

    "Tokyo police said that vehicle operators had told them they “were aware that a person was there but thought [the person] would [realize that a bus was coming] and stop crossing the [street]”, according to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper."

    1. Sam not the Viking

      Re: Responsibility

      Does this not encapsulate the whole problem with 'autonomous' vehicles? When pedestrians are aware that cars must stop when said pedestrians cross the road, why should they bother to pause at all? Stop, Look, Listen isn't/shouldn't/won't be necessary. Vehicles must avoid them or stop.

      A game of 'not-chicken' for children. Except for the rogue-vehicle.....

      1. Cuddles Silver badge

        Re: Responsibility

        Why is that a problem for autonomous vehicles though? Cars must already stop when pedestrians cross the road. In countries without weird laws about jaywalking, that usually applies everywhere and not just at designated crossings (obviously with some practical caveats requiring you to wait until there is space and not just throw yourself under a lorry). The problem with this in practice is that humans are flawed and might not stop in time. The problem with autonomous cars is that they are flawed and might not stop in time.

        It's possible some people might acquire an overly optimistic view of what autonomous cars are capable of, but that's still not likely to be much of an issue in the long term. If autocars are good enough that people can regularly jump in front of them without getting hit, then the fact that people regularly jump in front of them isn't a problem. If autocars aren't that good, you will quickly run out of people willing to jump in front of them.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Responsibility

          Because knowing that some drivers won't stop is what makes pedestrians cooperate.

          If you are a group of kids and you know you can stop a whole street of traffic by putting your foot on the road - what are your mates going to be egging you on to to do?

          1. Cuddles Silver badge

            Re: Responsibility

            Again, you can stop a street full of human drivers just as easily. Are you imagining all traffic flowing freely at 60mph, with the only thing stopping people jumping in front of it for a laugh being the risk of getting hit? Most urban traffic spends half its time stationary, and the rest lucky if it can get over 20mph. Most of the time there is zero risk from just stepping out and preventing people from moving. Yet somehow, it virtually never actually happens, no matter how much people's mates might egg them on. It's exactly the same as all the hand-wrining over people messing with signs to fool automatic cars. You can fool humans just as easily, yet it virtually never actually happens.

            These things just aren't sensible worries. Automatic cars have all kinds of real problems; why not focus on those instead of inventing nonsensical problems that don't actually have anything to do with automated driving at all? People could have been deliberately blocking traffic for thousands of years. They haven't actually done so. They're not going to suddenly start doing so now for absolutely no reason.

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: Responsibility

              I'm imagining a city center with self-driving cars/buses/delivery vehicles and being able to cause all of them to do an emergency stop by standing at a crossing and moving your foot in/out of the roadway.

              And the effect that this power might have on the typical group of teens

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