SEOUL (Reuters) – Hyundai Motor <005380.KS> said on Tuesday it is cautious about developing autonomous vehicles because of safety concerns after an Uber [UBER.UL] self-driving car hit and killed a woman in the United States.
The accident involving the U.S. technology firm’s car in Arizona marked the first fatality linked to an autonomous vehicle and a potential blow to the technology expected to transform transportation.
Yoon Sung-hoon, a director at Hyundai Motor, said safety concerns are a big factor in the development of autonomous cars, and as a result the South Korean automaker is “cautious about mass producing self-driving cars.”
“When we evaluated other companies vehicles, they had more relaxed safety standards,” he told reporters, adding that Hyundai is taking more time than rivals to develop autonomous technology to guarantee safety.
”No one knows under what situation accidents will occur.”
Hyundai, which has been slow in rolling out self-driving cars, has said it plans commercialise level 4 autonomous vehicles – which can operate without human input or oversight under select conditions – by 2021.
(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)