Waymo CEO On Uber Crash: Our Self-Driving Car Would Have Avoided Pedestrian

Just what went wrong with a self-driving Uber car that failed to avoid fatally hitting a pedestrian crossing a dark Tempe, Arizona, street isn’t yet known. But the head of Waymo is confident of this: His autonomous vehicles would have stopped in time.

“What happened in Arizona obviously was a tragedy. It was terrible. You couldn’t watch that video and not be impacted by it,” Waymo CEO John Krafcik told Forbes at the National Automobile Dealers Association conference in Las Vegas on Saturday. “We’re very confident that our car could have handled that situation,”

“We know that for a lot of different reasons. It’s what we have designed this system to do in situations just like that,” he said, prior to sharing that view in front of hundreds of dealers at the conference.

The accident was a bombshell for dozens of companies racing to perfect autonomous technology, including General Motors, Ford, Lyft, Aptiv, Tesla, China’s Baidu, Toyota, Nissan, Volvo and Uber. But no company has as much riding on robotic vehicles as Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo, the company created in 2016 

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