Four days into the Tokyo Paralympic Games, Toyota removed its self-driving e-Palette vehicles from the event following a collision with a pedestrian. The automaker made the decision Friday, according to Reuters, a day after one of the pods hit a visually impaired athlete who was walking nearby. According to a video statement from Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda, reported in English by Reuters, the vehicle had stopped at a junction and was about to turn under manual control from an onboard operator when it hit the pedestrian at one or two kilometers-per-hour. The identity of the athlete has not been released to the public. Toyota first announced its plans to deploy e-Palettes at the games in October 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic forced the organizers of the Olympics to delay the 2020 games by a year.
'The show must go on,' an often heard sentence that makes absolute sense in the pandemic hit the world. Yes, it all became at the end of 2019 when Covid-19 was first reported in Wuhan. Later, the virus spread across the globe and pushed governments to impose strict lockdowns. An international sports event that was supposed to take place in 2020 got delayed and finally, when people started living with the virus in 2021, the IOC and Japan, the host country, came forward to go on with it. One of the most welcomed guests in the summer Tokyo Olympics is artificial intelligence.
After being delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 Olympics schedule is in full swing, albeit without spectators in the stands. Aside from featuring top athletic competition from nations around the globe, the quadrennial event is also showcasing several cutting-edge innovations ranging from robotics and artificial intelligence to virtual reality training solutions, carrying on a tradition of Olympic tech innovation history. "The Olympic Games have always been a catalyst and showcase for innovation, and when Tokyo last hosted the event, in 1964, it saw satellites used to relay live pictures to a global audience for the first time, as well as the debuts of close-pickup microphones and slow-motion replays," reads a portion of an Olympic blog post. Historically, human beings have traditionally located, chased down and seized game balls during Olympic competitions. But at the 2020 games, spectators may catch a glimpse of a few bots retrieving these spheres and other equipment during gameplay.