Google’s Waymo hires safety advocate, Alibaba executive

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Google's self-driving car branch Waymo has hired Deborah Hersman for the new position of chief safety officer and Amee Chande as its first chief commercial officer, the company said on publication platform Medium.

Hersman is chairman of the National Safety Council. She previously served 10 years in the National Transportation Safety Board, of which five years as chairman. The NTSB investigates the causes of vehicle, aircraft, railway and other accidents and offers recommendations to the Ministry of Transport on ways to improve safety.

Hersman will oversee the design and improvement of the Waymo safety program for field tests and systems, in close collaboration with the company's technical, product and legal teams

During her four years at the National Safety Council, Hersman helped launch educational automotive safety campaigns, including the Road to Zero coalition aimed at eliminating highway deaths by 2050, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles-funded Check to Protect to encourage drivers. to check for recall on their vehicles and to inform the public about vehicle safety technologies.

She joined Waymo in mid-January, according to the NSC and Waymo.

Chande will monitor the introduction of commercial services after public trials with Waymo vehicles in Phoenix have been completed. This summer the company exceeds 7 million miles, driven by its autonomous vehicles.

She joins Alibaba Group's Waymo, where she was director of the global strategy and operations. She held leadership roles at Staples, Tesco and Walmart.

The company said that the employees underlined their commitment to safety and meant a new step towards the commercialization of self-driving cars.

"Waymo's technology has the potential to help transform travel use, logistics and delivery, public transportation and personal car ownership," said CEO John Krafcik. "Amee's deep background in the development and expansion of global consumer companies will enable us to realize these incredible opportunities."