Uber exec “warned of safety dangers before fatal crash” | Smart Highways Magazine: Industry News

Uber exec “warned of safety dangers before fatal crash”

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It’s being reported that a executive at Uber warned of safety problems with the company’s self-driving car testing five days before a crash which killed a pedestrian in Arizona.

The Information says that five days before the prototype crashed last March, a manager in Uber’s autonomous vehicle unit warned the group’s top executives that the software powering the company’s prototype “robotaxis” was dangerous.

It adds that he also warned that the human back-up drivers in the vehicles weren’t properly trained to do their jobs or were not terminated “even if they repeatedly screwed up”.

The Information says it has seen an 890-word email Robbie Miller, a manager in the testing-operations group, sent to Eric Meyhofer, the head of Uber’s autonomous vehicle unit, Jon Thomason, VP of software, and five other executives and lawyers on 13 March.  It says in the email, Mr. Miller warned that Uber’s self-driving cars being tested are “routinely in accidents resulting in damage. This is usually the result of poor behaviour of the operator [backup driver] or the AV [autonomous vehicle] technology.”

Uber has since settled with the victim’s family.



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