Inside Uber before its self-driving car killed a pedestrian: Sources describe infighting, ‘perverse’ incentives, and questionable decisions

Much has been written about the death of Elaine Herzberg, most of it focused on the failings of the driver. But, until now, not much has been revealed about why engineers and senior leaders turned off the car’s ability to stop itself.

Insiders told us that it was a result of chaos inside the organisation, and may have been motivated, at least in part, to please the boss.

Business Insider spoke to seven current and former employees of Uber’s self-driving car unit employed during the time of the accident and in the months succeeding it. We viewed internal emails, meeting notes and other documents relating to the self-driving car program and the incident.

We learned that these insiders allege that, despite many warnings about the car’s safety, the senior leadership team had a pressing concern in months before the accident: impressing Uber’s new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi with a demo ride that gave him a pleasant “ride experience.”