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12.10.19
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Uber CEO Compares Self-Driving Car Crash to Murdering Journalists

November 11th 19__Dan Robitzski__Filed Under: Advanced Transport
Ecole polytecnique/Victor Tangermann

Forgive And Forget

Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber, humbly requests that we forgive and forget that one of his company’s self-driving cars killed someone last year.

On Sunday’s episode of “Axios on HBO,” Khosrowshahi compared the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the hands of the Saudi Arabian government to the pedestrian who was struck and killed by one of his company’s self-driving cars, according to Gizmodo. Bizarrely, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign investment fund happens to be a major investor in Uber, and the fund’s governor sits on Uber’s board.

“I think the government said they made a mistake” by killing Khashoggi, Khosrowshahi said on the program. “It’s a serious mistake. We’ve made mistakes too. We stopped driving and we’re recovering from that mistake. I think that people make mistakes. It doesn’t mean that they can never be forgiven. I think they have taken it seriously.”

180 Noscope

After the episode ran, Khosrowshahi sent a statement to Axios completely reversing what he said, presumably because Uber’s press team heard his original comments and suffered a collective freakout.

“I said something in the moment that I do not believe,” Khosrowshahi told Axios in the statement. “When it comes to Jamal Khashoggi, his murder was reprehensible and should not be forgotten or excused.”

Grain Of Truth

That’s not to say Uber didn’t make mistakes.

Reports recently surfaced that Uber never programmed its self-driving car AI to detect jaywalkers, an oversight that likely contributed to the death of Elaine Herzberg, who was killed by an experimental self-driving car last year.

READ MORE: Uber CEO Says Murder of Journalist By Saudi Government Was ‘Mistake’ That Can Be Forgiven [Gizmodo]

More on transport: Self-Driving Uber That Killed Woman Didn’t Know Jaywalkers Exist