Uber executives were reportedly warned about self-driving tech issues prior to fatal crash
If you thought the fallout from Uber’s self-driving fatality was over, think again. For the company, that unfortunate crash is the gift that keeps on giving.
For context, the incident we’re referring to occurred back in March, when an autonomous Uber vehicle (with a distracted safety driver at the helm) failed to brake for pedestrian Elaine Herzberg, striking her and leading to her death in the hospital.
According to a new report from The Information, former Uber employee Robbie Miller had informed executives by email that the self-driving tech had issues before the crash occurred.
Miller told Uber leadership that its vehicles were “routinely in accidents resulting in damage.” These accidents were caused by either the tech itself or mistakes on the part of the company’s safety drivers.
It’s unlikely that these revelations will be used against Uber in a legal battle — the company was quick to settle the incident with Herzberg’s family — but they do shed new light on how the crash was allowed to happen.
Uber executives were warned about some of the issues surrounding the self-driving system (and perhaps the level of training safety drivers received), but they were either unable or unwilling to pull the vehicles from operation to remedy the situation.
Granted, even if Uber executives were quick to react, it’s unlikely they could have prevented Herzberg’s death. After all, it sounds like the warning came just days before the accident, meaning the company’s leadership may not have had much time to develop a plan of action.