Sign up to receive 5 free days of our daily summary for tech news.

Special Offer: Try out The Information today for only $10/month for your first 3 months. 
Autonomous Vehicles Uber/Lyft

How an Uber Whistleblower Tried to Stop Self-Driving Car Disaster

Five days before an Uber self-driving car prototype killed a pedestrian in Arizona last March, a manager in Uber’s autonomous vehicle unit warned the group’s top executives that the software powering the company’s prototype robotaxis was dangerous. He also warned that the human back-up drivers in the vehicles weren’t properly trained to do their jobs or were not terminated even if they repeatedly screwed up, The Information has learned.

Robbie Miller, a manager in the testing-operations group, sent an 890-word email to Eric Meyhofer, the head of Uber’s autonomous vehicle unit, Jon Thomason, VP of software, and five other executives and lawyers on March 13. In the email, which is here and also is pasted at the bottom of this article, Mr. Miller warned that Uber’s self-driving cars being tested are “routinely in accidents resulting in damage. This is usually the result of poor behavior of the operator [backup driver] or the AV [autonomous vehicle] technology.”

What Is The Information?

Notes bb3aa5069205d702dda37fc71dc6f1c59df2310c4379304e9f1199f052af4884

Exclusive Articles

We broke it first. Receive original reporting you won't read anywhere else from the largest newsroom in tech.

Notebook b5103017ee163370a1667c9ce59ab0ef023875a17888105d26c185cadf31bb69

Daily news analysis

Every weeknight, we'll send you our reporters’ views on the day’s top tech news—distilled into one email.

Conference calls c9e664e8b96ee347d3e92b8309938f268422b9db98cfabca5c826fbb75054b23

Conference calls

Get access to our reporters and other top executives with monthly deep-dive calls into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles.

Events 499acedd16cffc41445edd76bfd302b2836c2a27419890f17130a6b10e2aa3df

Special Events

For no extra fee, get access to more than a dozen events yearly, from intimate dinners to larger gatherings with marquee speakers.

What else is included in my subscription?

Become a contributor

Share your views and find other subscribers by completing your profile. You’ll be listed in our contributor directory.

Slack community

Discuss topics and current events with our subscriber-only Slack group and share news about your company with other subscribers.

Annual Subscriber only benefits:

Org Charts

Access the only collection of tech company org charts. Our expanding database includes companies like Amazon, Snap, and Uber.

Crypto Newsletter

Our experts investigate the latest in the crypto world to keep you in-the-know about the movements of digital currencies.

No subscription? You're missing out.

Join the high-powered community of tech and business leaders who rely on The Information's original news and in-depth reporting.

Subscribe