Uber self-driving car unit’s safety culture slammed by U.S. safety board, NTSB

Uber Technologies’ self-driving vehicle unit lacked an effective safety culture at the time when one of its test vehicles struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona, last year, U.S. National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt said Tuesday.

“The inappropriate actions of both the automatic driving system as implemented and the vehicle’s human operator were symptoms of a deeper problem, the ineffective safety culture that existed at the time,” Sumwalt said as he opened a board meeting to determine the probable cause of the collision.

The probe is the NTSB’s first to examine a fatal crash involving a self-driving test vehicle. The case is being closely watched in the emerging autonomous vehicle industry, a sector that has attracted billions of dollars in investment from companies such as General Motors and Google parent Alphabet in an attempt to transform transportation.