Biden set to nominate Homendy to head U.S. NTSB

Biden set to nominate Homendy to head U.S. NTSB

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -President Joe Biden is expected to nominate Jennifer Homendy to chair the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), sources briefed on the matter told Reuters on Thursday.

Homendy has served on the board since 2018 and previously was a senior House of Representatives Democratic staffer working on transportation issues.

The White House and Homendy did not respond to requests for comment. An NTSB spokesman referred questions to the White House.

The NTSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating all civil aviation accidents in the United States and significant accidents in other modes of transportation.

Bloomberg reported Homendy’s expected nomination earlier.

Homendy was the on-scene board member during the investigation into the January 2020 helicopter crash that killed Los Angeles basketball great Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others, as well as a September 2019 boat fire off the California coast that killed 34.

In recent years, the NTSB has been investigating a number of crashes involving Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) vehicles using its driver assistance system Autopilot. The board announced Monday that it would investigate a Tesla crash in Texas that killed two people Saturday; local police said it occurred with no one in the driver’s seat.

In a concurring statement filed in March 2020 on a board investigation into a fatal Tesla crash, Homendy said, “The most dangerous way to travel in our country is on the road,” noting that more than 36,000 people are killed annually.

She has criticized the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for failing to ensure that driver assistance systems or nascent self-driving vehicles are safe.

In an NTSB probe into a fatal March 2018 Uber (NYSE:UBER) self-driving crash, Homendy said the NHTSA had “put technology advancement here before saving lives.”

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