Uber hires NTSB veteran to advise its safety efforts

Chris Hart will guide safety for self-driving cars and beyond.

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Jeff Swensen/Getty Images
Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

Uber is ready to rethink its safety approach in the wake of its fatal self-driving car crash. The ridesharing firm told Reuters it has hired former NTSB Chairman Chris Hart as an advisor on its broader safety efforts alongside a "top-to-bottom" review of safety in its autonomous vehicle program. Hart is no stranger to self-driving technology: he oversaw the NTSB while it investigated a Tesla crash where Autopilot was involved, and has seen autonomy as just a matter of time.

The review will cover everything from the self-driving system itself to training for the operators. Uber isn't saying more at the moment, but promised additional info soon.

There's a certain amount of public relations maneuvering involved: Uber wants to show that the crash was an isolated incident, and hiring a national safety leader will do that. At the same time, Hart's advice and the review demonstrate that Uber isn't taking the incident lightly. It knows it has to prevent another incident if self-driving cars are going to take off, even if that means taking drastic steps.

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