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CEO of Uber says that automatic driving cars are & # 39; student drivers & # 39;

CEO of Uber Technologies Inc.

Dara Khosrowshahi

He said the "ride-hailing" firm is "absolutely committed" to its self-driving program when one of its autonomous vehicles hit and killed a pedestrian in Arizona last month, but said the technology must be refined.

"Ultimately, driverless cars will be safer than humans," Khosrowshahi said on NBC's "Today" on Thursday. "But right now the cars that drive are learning, they are student drivers."

Uber suspended its program in four test cities after the March 18 accident, which is believed to be the first known victim related to a self-contained vehicle.

Mr. Khosrowshahi told "Today" host Savannah Guthrie that the company was working with investigators to determine if the technology of the highly successful company was to blame. He also said he is reviewing the company's security practices, which range from driver training to software.

The vehicle was in autonomous mode but had a human safety operator at the wheel when it crashed against 49 years of age.

Elaine Herzberg,

who says the police then died of his injuries. His family since he settled with Uber for undisclosed terms.

The accident has increased the scrutiny of Uber and other companies that collectively spend billions of dollars developing and testing autonomous automobiles, which they say will reduce deaths from traffic accidents. Regulators have said that human error causes 94% of accidents.

Tesla
Inc.

this week he defended his semiautonomous autopilot system, blaming a fatal accident on March 23 on the driver, who alleges he ignored vehicle warnings to pay attention to the road.

Navigating Uber's response to the fatal accident is one of Mr. Khosrowshahi's first tests as CEO. He succeeded the co-founder of Uber

Travis Kalanick

last year with the mandate to repair the image of the company after a series of scandals that included allegations that management had ignored sexist complaints and sexual harassment of workers. He said on the "Today" show that the changes in culture since he and his team took over are "night and day."

Mr. Khosrowshahi said the company is adding a 911 button to its rapid transit application that will directly connect passengers with emergency operators and share their locations. Uber also recruited former Secretary of National Security

Jeh Johnson

to preside over his security council, said Mr. Khosrowshahi.

Write to Lombard Face on face.lombardo@wsj.com

Appeared in the print edition of April 13, 2018 as' Uber adheres to self-driving & # 39;

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