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Toyota’s chief executive said the automaker has no intention of investing in automated vehicles, and has expressed concern about the long-term economic impact of autonomous driving.
John Hartley told analysts in an earnings call on Thursday that the company has no plans to invest in self driving vehicles and is “not comfortable” investing in them.
“We do not feel comfortable in the long term with the level of risk that we are willing to take in investing in these technologies,” he said.
“I think in the medium term, there are a number of things that we have a good sense of where this technology can go.”
The fact that we don’t believe we can ever build a car that’s self-sufficient, we don and that we think that there is no real-world economic benefit to it, we think there is a risk that it might not be profitable.
“And then there’s a risk of driving it out of the road.”
Toyota CEO explains Toyota’s decision to keep investing in technology source ABC NEWS article Toyota CEO Masayoshi Son said in an interview that the automakers long-range goal is to make vehicles that are both safe and autonomous, but that he is “very concerned” about the potential for some self-drivers to be at fault.
Son said the company is taking a “very long view” on self-drive, but said he believes it will be possible to make cars that can safely navigate a crowded city or a busy highway, without needing to rely on human drivers.
He said he doesn’t expect a mass-market self-driver car to be available for at least five years.
“For the foreseeable future, I think it’s more likely that we’ll be looking at a very long term commitment to that, but I do think that in the short term, you can get a very small, relatively low level of technology, say the car that you have today that can get you from point A to point B in less than 30 minutes, and then the next step is to get to a car with that capability in 10 minutes or less,” he told CNBC.
The Toyota CEO said he expects self-driven vehicles to have a bigger role in the future, and that Toyota will look to use the technology to make more of its vehicles more efficient and safer.
“Toyota is going to invest a lot more into this.
It’s going to have an impact on the future of transportation,” he added.”
But in the near term, the most important thing is that we continue to be innovative in terms of our technology and we continue the work that we’re doing to make our vehicles safer and more reliable and that will continue to take us forward.”
Toyotas stock price jumped 8.8% on Thursday to $15.99 per share.