Waymo taps former NTSB chair to oversee safety of self-driving ride-share fleet

Waymo, the Alphabet subsidiary on the cusp of launching the first autonomous rideshare service in the U.S., has hired a former top safety regulator to ensure the company’s fleet of robotaxis operate safely.

Deborah Hersman, who was chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board in the Obama administration, will become chief safety officer for Waymo starting in January. She will focus on ensuring the safe operation of hundreds of driverless vehicles that are expected to shuttle passengers.

“I’ve dedicated my career to promoting safety in our communities, and I’m joining Waymo because of the potential to make an even greater impact on reducing road injuries and fatalities,” Hersman said in a statement released by Waymo. Hersman has been CEO of the National Safety Council for the last four years.