Toyota has temporarily suspended all developments on its self-driving vehicle division following the fatal Uber accident which claimed the life of a woman in Tempe, Arizona – one of Uber’s self-driving Volvo XC90 struck 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg as she walked her bicycle across a street.

According to a report by Bloomberg, the Toyota Research Institute (TRI) fears that the incident could impact test drivers in its ‘Chauffeur’ programme. “Because we feel the incident may have an emotional effect on our test drivers, we have decided to temporarily pause our Chauffeur mode testing on public roads,” explained TRI spokesman Bryan Lyons.

The research institute, which recently unveiled a range of new-generation self-driving vehicles at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, was conducting autonomous driving tests in Michigan and California. The company has kept the number of vehicles – dubbed Platform 3.0 – small so the driverless tech could be rapidly updated as the technology advances, said Lyons. He also told Bloomberg that TRI “does not have first-hand information on the tragic traffic fatality.”

Uber had been conducting autonomous vehicle tests in Arizona, Pittsburgh, Toronto and other areas. “Our hearts go out to the victim’s family. We’re fully cooperating with Tempe Police and local authorities as they investigate this incident,” Uber said in a statement.

“Some incredibly sad news out of Arizona. We’re thinking of the victim’s family as we work with local law enforcement to understand what happened,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi tweeted. The company has already stopped testing the self-driving vehicles throughout North America, and the accident is currently being investigated by the US National Transport Safety Board.