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Speeches

Closing Statement - Crash involving a pedestrian and an Uber test vehicle
Robert L. Sumwalt
NTSB Boardroom and Conference Center, Washington, DC
11/19/2019

​In closing, I thank my colleagues for their preparation going into the board meeting, and for the good debate and discussion. Special thanks to our Office of Highway Safety and Office of Research and Engineering staff. Thanks to Dr. Ensar Becic (BEH-chich) the project manager, and David Pereira, the Investigator in Charge. But as I always say, nothing around here happens through just one person; It’s always a team effort. A sincere “thank you” not just to everybody who worked on this report, but also to the program and support staff members who made it possible.

Our thanks to Uber ATG, who has really embrace the lessons from this event. We encourage them to continue on that journey, and for others in the industry to take noteThey participated as a party to our investigation readily and within the bounds of the NTSB party agreement. This enabled them to take many steps in response to developments in the investigation even prior to our recommendations.

The recommendations that we issued today, if acted upon, will result in entities continually scanning for safety hazards, just as automated driving systems continually scan for obstacles. In particular, these recommendations will result in strategies intended to detect operator inattentiveness.

And for the first time, today’s recommendations will result in required safety assessments from entities applying to test such systems on public roads.

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

By the same token, successful safety measures, required industry-wide, can bolster public confidence, public safety, and the industry’s future.

We stand adjourned.