Uber’s distracted safety driver at fault for fatal self-driving car crash, investigators say

ntsb

National Transportation Safety Board investigators examine Uber’s self-driving vehicle involved in a fatal accident in Tempe, Arizona, in March 2018.


National Transportation Safety Board

Government officials said the main cause of a fatal crash involving one of Uber’s self-driving cars in Tempe, Arizona, was the vehicle operator who failed to monitor the road and was distracted by her cell phone. Contributing to the crash was Uber’s “inadequate safety culture,” said the National Transportation Safety Board.

The ruling, announced Tuesday, was a year and a half in the making. Investigators have been working since March 2018 trying to figure out why one of Uber’s autonomous vehicles failed to detect a woman crossing the street. 

Along with announcing the probable cause of the crash, the NTSB also released 19 findings on the accident and a series of recommendations to make self-driving cars safer for city streets.

“Ultimately, it will be the public that accepts or rejects automated driving systems, and the testing of such systems on public roads,” said NTSB chair Robert Sumwalt. “Any company’s crash affects the public’s confidence. Anybody’s crash is everybody’s crash.”

Uber didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

This story is developing…

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