Uber layoffs are ‘critical’ in restructuring the company, says CMU autonomy expert

After a self-driving Uber in autonomous mode struck and killed a 49-year-old woman in Tempe, Ariz., it exposed the company’s shortcomings in safety culture — including problems with technology testing and operator training — according to Raj Rajkumar, a CMU professor of electrical and computer engineering.
“They need to rethink their entire methodology, and this layoff announcement is perhaps one of many steps in that restructuring process,” said Mr. Rajkumar, who is also co-director of CMU’s autonomous vehicles
lab and founder of Ottomatika, a CMU spinoff that provides software and systems development for selfdriving vehicles. The company was acquired by Delphi, now Aptiv, in 2014.

Uber’s safety operators’ responsibilities must be revisited, he said, and hiring and training need to be dramatically revised.