WASHINGTON - The chairman of the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) offered a harsh critique of Uber Technologies Inc's overall approach to safety in draft findings released on Tuesday of a fatal self-driving car crash in Arizona in March 2018.
"The inappropriate actions of both the automatic driving system as implemented and the vehicle's human operator were symptoms of a deeper problem," NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said, citing the "ineffective safety culture that existed at the time of Uber."
The NTSB submitted draft findings in Sumwalt's written testimony Congress ahead of a Senate hearing Wednesday as a probable cause in the crash was ongoing. Reuters reviewed the draft testimony.
According to Sumwalt's draft testimony, the probable cause of the Uber crash was the failure of the vehicle operator to monitor the driving environment "because she was visually distracted throughout the trip by her personal cell phone."
Cited as contributing factors were Uber's inadequate safety risk-assessment procedures and ineffective oversight of the vehicle operator. The testimony said the findings were "subject to change pending the board's adoption of the final report."